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J. B. BURY, M.A., F.B.A. 


J. R. TANNER, Litt.D. 





(7*7— M53) 



Contents xxiii 

The two Churches up to 1054 264 

Michael Cerularius ......... 265 

The Eastern Empire, Leo IX, and the Normans . 266 

Michael Cerularius and Rome 267 

Correspondence between the Pope and the Patriarch . . . 268 

The Roman legates at Constantinople (1054) .... 269 

Excommunication of Michael Cerularius ..... 270 

The Synodal Edict of 1054 271 

Definitive rupture (20 July 1054) 272 

The results of the Schism 273 



By Sir Thomas W. Arnold, CLE., Litt.D., Hon. Fellow of 
Magdalene College, Cambridge, Professor of Arabic at the 
University of London. 

The Abbasid Empire 274 

Character of the Abbasid dynasty ....... 275 

Decline of the Abbasid Caliphate 276 

Ascendancy of the Buwaihids 277 

The Seljuq Empire 278 

The Mongol conquests 279 

Muslim political theory ........ 280 

Theory of the Caliphate 281 

Organisation of administrative machinery ..... 282 

The postal system 283 

Censorship of morals : judiciary: army. ..... 284 

The Turkish guard 285 

Slavery : commerce ......... 286 

Toleration 287 

Religious persecution 288 

Position of Christians ......... 289 

Literature under the Abbasids ....... 290 

Exegesis: law .......... 291 

Dogmatic systems .......... 292 

Mysticism. Historical literature 293 

Belles lettres 294 

The encyclopaedists and geographers 295 

Philosophy 296 

Medicine 297 

Mathematics and Astronomy ........ 298 






When the Abbasids wrested from the Umayyads in 750 the headship 
of the Muslim world, they entered into possession of an empire stretching 
from the Indus to the Atlantic and from the southern shore of the 
Caspian Sea to the Indian Ocean. It had absorbed the whole of the Persian 
Empire of the Sasanians, and the rich provinces of the Roman Empire 
on the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean ; but though 
Constantinople itself had been threatened more than once, and raids into 
Asia Minor were so frequent as at certain periods to have become almost 
a yearly occurrence, the ranges of the Taurus and the Anti-Taurus still 
served as the eastern barrier of Byzantine territory against the spread of 
Arab domination. In Africa, however, all opposition to the westward 
progress of the Arab arms had been broken down, and the whole of the 
peninsula of Spain, with the exception of Asturia, had passed under 
Muslim rule. For ninety years Damascus had been the capital of the 
Arab Empire, and the mainstay of the Umayyad forces in the time 
of their greatest power had been the Arab tribes domiciled in Syria from 
the days when that province still formed part of the Roman Empire ; 
but the Abbasids had come into power mainly through support from 
Persia, and their removal of the capital to Baghdad (founded by Mansur, 
the second Caliph of the new dynasty, in 762) on a site only thirty miles 
from Ctesiphon, the capital of the Sasanian Shahanshah, marks their 
recognition of the shifting of the centre of power. 

From this period Persian influence became predominant and the chief 
offices of state came to be held by men of Persian origin ; the most . 
noteworthy example is that of the family of the Barmecides (Barmakids), 
which for half a century exercised the predominant influence in the 
government until Harun destroyed them in 803. It was probably due 
to the influence of the old Persian ideal of kingship that under the 
Abbasids the person of the Caliph came to be surrounded with greater 
pomp and ceremony. The court of the Umayyads had retained something 
of the patriarchal simplicity of early Arab society, and they had been 
readily accessible to their subjects ; but as the methods of government 
became more centralised and the court of the Caliph more splendid and 
awe-striking, the ruler himself tended to be more difficult of access, and 

Character of the Abbasid dynasty 275 

the presence of the executioner by the side of the throne became under 
the Abbasids a terrible symbol of the autocratic character of their rule. 

A further feature of the new dynasty was the emphasis it attached to 
the religious character of the dignity of the Caliph. In their revolt 
against the Umayyads, the Abbasids had come forward in defence of the 
purity of Islam as against those survivals of the old Arab heathenism 
which were so striking a feature of the Umayyad court. The converts 
and descendants of converts, whose support had been most effective in the 
destruction of the Umayyads, were animated with a more zealous religious 
spirit than had ever found expression among large sections of the Arabs, 
who, in consequence of the superficial character of their conversion to 
Islam, and their aristocratic pride and tribal exclusiveness, so contrary 
to the spirit of Islamic brotherhood, had been reluctant to accord to 
the converts from other races the privileges of the new faith. The 
Abbasids raised the standard of revolt in the name of the family of the 
Prophet, and by taking advantage of the widespread sympathy felt for 
the descendants of ' All, they obtained the support of the various Shl'ah 
factions. Though they took all the fruits of victory for themselves, they 
continued to lay emphasis on the religious character of their rule, and 
theologians and men of learning received a welcome at their court such as 
they had never enjoyed under the Umayyads. On ceremonial occasions 
the Abbasid Caliph appeared clad in the sacred mantle of the Prophet, 
and titles such as that of Khalifah of Allah (vicegerent of God) and 
shadow of God upon earth came to be frequently applied to him. As 
the power of the central authority grew weaker, so the etiquette of the 
court tended to become more elaborate and servile, and the Caliph made 
his subjects kiss the ground before him or would allow the higher 
officials either to kiss his hand or foot or the edge of his robe. 

The vast empire into the possession of which they had entered was 
too enormous and made up of elements too heterogeneous to be long held 
together under a system, the sole unifying principle of which was payment 
of tribute to the Caliph. A prince of the Umayyad family, 'Abd-ar- 
Rahman, who had succeeded in escaping to Spain when practically all 
his relatives had been massacred, took advantage of tribal jealousies 
among the Arab chiefs in Spain to seize this country for himself, and to 
detach it from the empire, in 756. North Africa, which had been placed 
by Harun under the government of Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab, became 
practically independent under this energetic governor, who established a 
dynasty that lasted for more than a century (800-909); though his 
successors contented themselves with the title of emir, the Caliph in 
Baghdad appears to have been powerless to interfere with their administra- 
tion. Harun himself seems to have realised that the break-up of the Arab 
empire was inevitable, since in 802 he made arrangements for dividing 
the administration of it between his sons Amin and Ma'miin. But on the 
death of their father in 809 civil war broke out between the two brothers. 

ch. x. 18—2 

276 Decline of the Abbasid Caliphate 

The Arabs lent their support to Amm, and under his leadership made a 
last effort to regain for themselves the control of the Caliphate ; but in 
813 Tahir, Ma'muiTs brilliant Persian general, defeated him, and as a 
reward for his successful siege of Baghdad was appointed by Ma'mun to 
the government of Khurasan, where he and his descendants for half a 
century were practically independent. Egypt broke away from the 
empire when a son of one of Ma , mun , s Turkish slaves, Ahmad ibn Tulun, 
having been appointed deputy -governor of Egypt in 868, succeeded in 
making himself independent not only in Egypt but also in Syria, which 
he added to his dominions, and ceased sending money contributions to 
Baghdad. This breaking away of the outlying provinces of the empire was 
rendered the more possible by the weakness of the central government. 
Ma'mun's brother and successor, Mu'tasim (833-842), made the fatal 
mistake of creating an army composed almost entirely of Turkish 
mercenaries. Their excesses made life in Baghdad so intolerable that the 
Caliph, in order to be safe from the vengeance of the inhabitants of his 
own capital, moved to a site three days' journey up the Tigris to the 
north of Baghdad, and from 836 to 892 Samarra was the Abbasid capital 
where nine successive Caliphs lived, practically as prisoners of their 
own Turkish bodyguard. While the Turkish officers made and unmade 
Caliphs as they pleased, the country was ruined by constantly recurring 
disorders and insurrection. In 865, while rival claimants were fighting for 
the crown, Baghdad was besieged for nearly a year, and the slave revolt 
for fourteen years (869-883) left the delta of the Euphrates at the 
mercy of undisciplined bands of marauders who terrorised the inhabitants 
and even sacked great cities, such as Basrah, Ahwaz, and Wasit, shewing 
the weakness of the central power even in territories so close to the 
capital. A further disaster was soon to follow in the great Carmathian 
revolt, which takes its name from one of the propagandists of the Isma'ill 
Shi'ah doctrine in 'Iraq during the latter part of the ninth century. His 
followers for nearly a century (890-990) spread terror throughout 
Mesopotamia, and even threatened Baghdad. They extended their ravages 
as far as Syria, murdering and pillaging wherever they went. In 930 
they plundered the city of Mecca, put to death 30,000 Muslims there, 
and carried off the Black Stone together with immense booty. 

These movements represent only a part of the risings and revolts that 
brought anarchy into the Caliph's dominions and cut off the sources of 
his revenue. In the midst of this period of disorder the Caliph Mu'tamid, 
shortly before his death in 892, transferred the capital once more to 
Baghdad, but the change did not bring the Caliphs deliverance from the 
tutelage of their Turkish troops, and they were as much at their mercy 
as before. 

Deliverance came from Persia where the Buwaihids, who claimed 
descent from one of the Sasanian kings, had been extending their power 
from the Caspian Sea southward through Persia, until in 945 they 

Ascendancy of the Buwaihids 277 

entered Baghdad, nominally as deliverers of the Caliph from his rebellions 
Turkish troops. For nearly a century from this date the Caliphs were 
mere puppets in the hands of successive Buwaihid emirs, who set them 
upon the throne and deposed them as they pleased. The Caliph Mustakfi, 
whose deliverance from his mutinous Turkish soldiery had been the pre- 
text for the Buwaihid occupation of Baghdad, was in the same year dragged 
from his throne and cruelly blinded. So low had the office of Caliph 
sunk by this period that there were still living two other Abbasid princes 
who like Mustakfi had sat upon the Abbasid throne, but blinded and 
robbed of all their wealth were now dependent upon charity or such 
meagre allowance as the new rulers cared to dole out to them. His 
cousin Mut? was set up to succeed him, but though he held the office of 
Caliph for twenty-eight years (94-6-974) he had no voice in the adminis- 
tration, and could not even nominate any of the ministers who carried 
on the business of the state in his name; helpless in the hands of his 
Buwaihid master, he lived upon a scanty allowance. He was compelled 
to abdicate in favour of his son Tfu', after a riotous outburst of religious 
intolerance in Baghdad, and Ta'i* for seventeen years (974-991) suffered 
similar humiliations. He was deposed at last in favour of his cousin Qadir 
(991-1031), of whose reign of forty years hardly any incident is recorded, 
because political events pursued their course without any regard to him. 

Meanwhile in Upper Mesopotamia an Arab family, the Hamdanids, 
at first governors of Mosul, extended their authority over the surrounding 
country, and one member of the family, Saif-ad-Daulah, made himself 
master of Aleppo and brought the whole of Northern Syria under his 
rule in 944. In North Africa a rival Caliphate had arisen under the Shl'ah 
Fatimids, who annexed Egypt in 969, and after more than one attempt 
occupied Syria in 988. By the beginning of the eleventh century the 
power of the Buwaihids was on the decline and they had to give way before 
the Ghaznawids and the Seljuqs, the latter a Turkish tribe which made 
its first appearance in history about the middle of the tenth century. In 
1055 the Seljuq chief, Tughril Beg, after having conquered the greater 
part of Persia, entered Baghdad and delivered the Caliph from subservience 
to the Buwaihids. From Baghdad Tughril Beg marched to the conquest 
of Mosul and Upper Mesopotamia, and when he died in 1063 he left to 
his successor, Alp Arslan, an empire which eight years later stretched 
from the Hindu Kush to the shores of the Mediterranean. 

Alp Arslan died in 1072 and his son, Malik Shah, still further 
extended the empire by the conquest of Transoxiana. One of the Seljuq 
generals, Atsiz, drove the Fatimids out of Syria and Palestine, and 
occupied Jerusalem in 1071 and Damascus in 1075. Under the protection 
of the Seljuqs, the Caliph in Baghdad enjoyed at the hand of these 
orthodox Sunnis a certain amount of respect such as he had failed to 
receive at the hand of the Shl'ah Buwaihids, but his political authority 
hardly extended beyond the walls of the city. 

278 The Seljuq empire 

The death of Malik Shah in 1092 was followed by a period of con- 
fusion, during which his four sons fought one another for the succession, 
but in 1117 the supreme authority passed to his third son, Sanjar, the 
last of the Great Seljuqs to exercise a nominal sovereignty over the whole 
empire; before his death in 1155 it had split up into a number of separate 
principalities, some of them ruled over by Seljuq princes, others by 
officers who, acting first as guardians (or Atabegs) to minors, later 
assumed the reins of power and founded dynasties of their own. 

One permanent result of the rise of the Seljuq empire was that the 
way had been opened for Muslim domination in Asia Minor. During 
the whole of the Abbasid period the ranges of the Taurus and Anti- 
Taurus had formed the frontier line between the Roman and the Arab 
Empires, and though incursions had frequently, and during certain 
periods annually, been made by the Muslim troops into Anatolia, no 
permanent result of these military expeditions into the great plateau of 
Asia Minor had been achieved beyond the temporary occupation of some 
fortresses. But the Seljuqs made their way into Asia Minor from Northern 
Persia through Armenia, and before the end of the eleventh century had 
occupied all the centre of Asia Minor, leaving only the kingdom of 
Lesser Armenia and the coast-line which was held by Byzantine troops. 
This western movement of the Seljuqs and the consequent alarm of the 
Emperor of Constantinople who appealed for help to the Christian 
powers of Europe, were among the causes of the Crusades. 

When the crusaders entered Syria in 1098, the Seljuq empire had 
already begun to break up ; the greater part of Mesopotamia and Syria 
had been parcelled out into military fiefs in which the military officers 
of the Seljuqs had made themselves independent. The political situation 
of the Muslim world was but little affected by the establishment of the 
Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099, and the most important effect of the 
Crusades upon Muslim history was the rise of the Ayyubid dynasty, 
established by Saladin in his long conflict with the crusaders culminating 
in the battle of Hittin and the conquest of Jerusalem in 1187. 

Farther east, the fratricidal struggle still went on between rival 
Muslim houses fighting one another for the possession of the fragments 
of the Seljuq empire. For a brief period the Caliph in Baghdad succeeded 
in exerting some authority in the neighbourhood of his capital, and Nasir 
(1180-1225), freed from the tutelage of the Seljuqs, restored to the 
Caliphate some of its old independence, though the narrow territory 
over which he ruled extended only from Takrit to the head of the Persian 
Gulf. His most formidable rival was the Khwarazm Shah, whose king- 
dom, founded by a descendant of one of the Turkish slaves of the Seljuq 
Sultan Malik Shah, had been gradually extended until it included the 
greater part of Persia. Under 'Ala-ud-Dln (1199-1220) the kingdom of 
Khwarazm embraced also Bukhara and Samarqand, and in 1214 Afghani- 
stan ; but his career of conquest was short-lived, for on his eastern border 

The Mongol conquests 279 

appeared the Mongol army of Jenghiz Khan which soon involved in a 
common devastation and ruin the greater part of the various Muslim 
kingdoms of the East. Muslim civilisation has never recovered from the 
destruction which the Mongols inflicted upon it. Great centres of culture, 
such as Herat and Bukhara, were reduced to ashes and the Muslim 
population was ruthlessly massacred. With the Mongol conquest of 
southern Russia and of China we are not concerned here, but their armies 
after sweeping across Persia appeared in 1256 under the command of 
Hulagu before the walls of Baghdad, and after a brief siege of one month 
the last Caliph of the Abbasid House, Musta'sim, had to surrender, and 
was put to death together with most of the members of his family ; 
800,000 of the inhabitants were brought out in batches from the city to 
be massacred, and the greater part of the city itself was destroyed by 
fire. The Mongol armies then moved on into Syria, where first Aleppo 
and then Damascus fell into their hands, but when they advanced to the 
conquest of Egypt they met with the first check in their westward move- 
ment. Egypt since 1254 had been under the rule of the Mamluk sultans, 
and the Egyptian army in 1260 defeated the Mongols at 'Ain Jalut in 
Palestine, and following up this victory drove them out of Syria altogether. 
After the death of Jenghiz Khan in 1227, the vast Mongol empire had 
been divided among his four sons ; of Muslim territories, Transoxiana 
fell to the lot of his second son Jagatai ; one of his grandsons, Hulagu, 
the conqueror of Baghdad, founded the Il-khan dynasty of Persia and 
included in his kingdom the whole of Persia, Mesopotamia, and part of 
Asia Minor. The Seljuqs of Asia Minor had managed to maintain a 
precarious existence as vassals of the Mongols by making a timely sub- 
mission; and, under the rule of the Mamluk Sultans of Egypt, Syria kept 
the Mongols out. Such remained the general condition of the eastern 
provinces of what had once been the empire of the Abbasid Caliphs, 
during the remainder of the thirteenth century. 

The Abbasid epoch has dazzled the imagination of the Muslim world 
with the vision of a period of great wealth and splendour, and the de- 
gradation of its latter days was blotted out by the remembrance of its 
earlier glories, though these lasted barely 83 years. The shadowy Abbasid 
Caliphate of Cairo bore witness for two centuries and a half (1261-1517) 
to the impressive character of the ideal of a united Muslim Empire, under 
the leadership of the Imam-Caliph, regarded as the source of all authority, 
in spite of the fact that the disruptive influence of national movements 
and the self-assertion of provincial groups had irremediably destroyed 
the reality centuries before. As the rule of the Caliph was an absolutism, 
tempered only by the divinely-inspired law, to which he with every other 
Muslim had to submit, the state perished with him. For Muslim political 
theory Contained no principle of growth, to provide for the development 
of self-governing institutions ; no attempt had been made to widen the 

280 Muslim political theory 

basis of government, or train the subjects to co-operate with the state, 
and the continuity of city life — so characteristic a feature of political 
life in the West — was unknown in the Muslim East. 

By its elaboration of systems of law, however, the Abbasid period 
bequeathed to succeeding generations authoritative codes which are still 
in operation in various parts of the world, but the theocratic origin of 
this law, based as it is on the unalterable, eternal Word of God, has 
continuously hampered its adjustment to the changing conditions of 
political and social life. In other branches of intellectual activity, not- 
ably mathematics and medicine, permanent results were attained, of 
which some account is given in the following sections. 

The foundation for the political theories that find embodiment in 
the organisation of the Abbasid Empire was laid during the period of 
the Umayyads. These theories were in the main the outgrowth of two 
definite factors. In the first place, the conquering Arabs were faced with 
the problem of administering the vast Empire that, in the brief space of 
a few decades, had fallen into their hands, while their past history had 
given them no experience of organised methods of government and 
administration, and their tribal system had ill prepared them for any 
large outlook upon material problems. But they found in Palestine, 
Syria, and Egypt, a large body of trained officials, accustomed to the 
smooth working of the traditional method of administration in the 
Roman Empire, and familiar with the departmental routine of bureaux 
of government. Similarly, within the Persian empire, in spite of the 
anarchy that had prevailed after Chosroes II, the administrative machi- 
nery of the Sasanids, with its large body of officials for the collection 
of taxes, was still available. There is abundant evidence to shew 
that in the provinces of both these Empires the Arabs made very little 
change in the methods of administering the country. Accordingly, at a 
time when Muslim theory was formless and inchoate, it came under the 
powerful influence of one of the greatest attempts to systematize social 
and political life that the world has ever seen, and just as Muslim law 
bears the imprint of the Roman legal system, and the earliest systematic 
treatises of Islam appear to have been modelled on catechisms of Christian 
doctrines, so the fiscal system of the Arabs followed the lines that had 
been laid down centuries before by Roman administrators. 

On the other hand, during the whole of the Umayyad period, there 
had been living in Medina the representatives of the apostolic age of 
Islam, engaged in attempts to reduce to order the incoherent materials 
for a Muslim theory of life based upon the ordinances of the Koran 
(Qur'an) and the traditionary sayings of the Prophet. As these legists 
and theologians viewed with horror the heathenish ideals and manners 
of the Umayyad court, and accordingly kept aloof from practical con- 
cern with the details of political life, the theories of the state* and of 
legislation which they worked out very largely ignore the more stable 

Theory of the Caliphate 281 

development of the Arab state. Muslim political and legal theories have 
consequently never been able wholly to shake themselves free from the 
unreality that marked their beginnings in the rarified atmosphere of 
speculation in which early Muslim thinkers lived in Medina. When the 
Abbasids came into power, largely with the help of an orthodox reaction 
against the alleged heathenism of the Umayyad house, and with the 
support of Persian converts whose theological zeal was unknown to the 
latitudinarian Arabs, they attracted to their new capital, Baghdad, the 
legists and theologians of Medina and lavished a generous patronage on 
students of theology ; at the same time they exercised control over 
these thinkers and, while helping orthodoxy to triumph in the state, the 
Abbasids took care to make use of it for their own selfish ends. 

According to Islamic theory, religious dogma, maxims of statecraft, 
legal ordinances, and the details of the social life of the believer, all have 
their source in the revealed text of the Koran and in the traditionary 
sayings and practices of the Prophet ; where these fail to provide the 
required guidance, the consensus of the community is decisive, and most 
Muslim thinkers have allowed also an analogical deduction from the first 
two sources to particular cases not expressly mentioned in either of them. 
During the third century of the Muslim era were compiled the six great 
collections of traditions that are held to be authoritative in the Sunni 
world. These fix definitely the theories that had grown out of the ex- 
perience of preceding generations of Muslims. These traditions gave 
final expression to the theory of the Caliphate, according to which the 
head of the Muslim community, as successor (Khallfah) of the Prophet, 
carried on the same functions that he had performed, with the exception 
of the exercise of the prophetic office which was held to have come to an 
end with him. Accordingly the Caliph was supreme administrator, judge, 
and general. The legists summed up his functions as comprising the 
defence and maintenance of the faith ; war against those who refused to 
accept Islam or submit to Muslim rule ; the protection of the country of 
Islam and the provision of troops for guarding the frontiers ; the decision 
of legal disputes and the punishment of wrongdoers ; the collection and 
disbursement of taxes ; the payment of salaries and the appointing of 
competent officials. The holder of the office had to be a member of the 
tribe of the Quraish, to which the Prophet himself had belonged, and 
had to possess the physical and intellectual qualities necessary for the 
performance of the duties above mentioned. In theory the office was 
elective, but the first Caliph of the Umayyad dynasty had made it here- 
ditary, and generally each Caliph nominated his successor during his life. 
It was not necessarv that the succession should follow in the direct line. 
Of the fourteen Umayyad Caliphs only four were succeeded by a son, and 
of the first twenty-four Caliphs of the Abbasid dynasty only six had a 
son as his successor ; and though, later, direct succession became more 
common, out of the total number of thirty-six the office passed from 

282 Organisation of administrative machinery 

father to son in sixteen eases only. The fiction of election was kept up 
by the institution of the oath of allegiance which was taken by the 
highest officials and great nobles of the state to the Caliph on his suc- 
cession and sometimes also to the heir apparent. 

The Caliph was also at the same time Imam or leader of the faithful 
in public worship, and, though he often delegated this religious function 
to any ordinary Imam, there were even up to the latter days of the Abbasid 
dynasty solemn occasions on which the Caliph came forward as leader of 
the faithful in this public act of divine worship. The last Abbasid Caliph 
who kept up this practice was Radi (934-940). Though the Sunn! doc- 
trine never attached such mysterious significance to the office of the Imam 
as was characteristic of the Shi'ah sect, yet a certain degree of reverence 
became attached to this office even among the Sunnls, and the theorists 
maintained the necessity of an Imam as leader of the whole body of 
believers ; it was he alone who could declare a general Jihad, calling 
upon all the faithful, both men and women, to join in war against the 
unbelievers, and he was held to be the source of all legitimate authority, 
both in the state and in the administration of justice. In theory every 
governor was appointed by the Imam-Khalifah, and even when the separate 
provinces of the empire had become independent and the Caliph was a 
helpless puppet, this fiction was still maintained, and a sultan or emir, 
though he might have carved out a kingdom for himself by force of 
arms, would apply to the Abbasid Caliph for a diploma of investiture. 

The organisation of the administrative machinery is traditionally 
attributed to Omar (634-644), who established a Diwan or public register 
of income and expenditure, the original purpose of which was the division 
of the revenues of the state among the various members of the Muslim 
community. But Omar's fiscal system soon broke down, and the 
machinery of government gradually became more complicated by the 
establishment of separate administrative departments, the number and 
designation of which during the Abbasid period varied from time to 
time. Among the most important were the Treasury (Diwan al-Kharaj), 
which kept an account of the taxes, and the State Chancery (Diwan at- 
Tauqi'), which issued the decrees of the Caliph and exercised control over 
provincial governors. There were also separate departments for official 
correspondence, for the administration of the crown lands, for the army, 
for the postal service, for accounts, for general expenditure, and for the 
freedmen and slaves of the Imperial House. 

In the centralisation of government so characteristic of the new 
dynasty, the institution of the Wazir (Vizier) came into prominence. 
Whereas the Umayyads, following the traditionary methods of primitive 
Arab society, were surrounded by an aristocracy made up of chiefs of 
their own race whom they would consult on special occasions, the more 
autocratic government of the Abbasids placed the great army of officials 
under the control of a minister, the Wazlr, to whom the Caliph delegated 

The postal system 283 

a large portion of the details of administration. When the Caliph 
(as was often the case) did not wish to be disturbed in his pleasures by 
the cares of state, the Wazir acquired almost autocratic powers and 
could amass immense wealth ; all officials, even the great provincial 
governors, owed their appointment to him, and he controlled the whole 
machinery of the state. But his was a perilous position, and the annals 
of the Abbasid dynasty are full of stories of the sudden ruin that de- 
stroyed great and prosperous ministers. 

One of the most important departments was that of the State Post 
(Diwan al-Barld), an institution that the Arabs took over from the 
Romans, as the very designation indicates, barld being a loan-word from 
the Latin veredus; but the story that HarGn's great Persian minister, 
the Barmecide Yahya, reorganised the postal system on a new basis, 
probably indicates that the Arabs incorporated also into their system the 
old organisation of the Persian Empire. Like the Roman cursus publicus, 
this department was designed only to serve the interests of the state, by 
keeping the central government in touch with the outlying provinces and 
providing secret information of the doings of the various governors. 
Relays of swift mounts were kept at post stations on the great highways, 
and made possible the rapid communication of information and official 
orders. In every large province the postmaster had to keep the Caliph 
informed of every event of importance, to report on the state of the 
finances and the administration of the crown lands, the behaviour of the 
officers of the state, and the condition of agriculture and the peasantry. 
The cost of keeping up this large establishment of postal officials, to- 
gether with the various stations and the camels and horses required, was 
very heavy, but as it constituted the only possible means of controlling 
the administration of such a vast Empire, the Caliphs rightly attached 
much importance to it, and the Chief Postmaster at the capital had to 
communicate despatches to the Caliph immediately on their arrival. 
Pigeons also appear to have been used for transmitting news. Further, this 
organised control of the great highways, where these postal stations were 
established, facilitated the movements of the high officials and of the troops. 

In addition to this department there was a large force of detective 
police, and an elaborate system of espionage became a characteristic 
feature of the administration, whereby a Caliph set spies to watch his 
officials and even the members of his own family, while they in return 
employed their own spies to report upon his movements and utterances. 
For this purpose, in addition to regular members of the postal service, 
persons of every social grade, merchants, pedlars, physicians, and slave 
girls, were employed. 

It was in harmony with this inquisition into the affairs of private 
persons that the Muhtasib, or Prefect of Police, should not only be con- 
cerned with preventing breaches of the civil and religious law but also 
act as a censor of morals. One of his most important duties was to inspect 

284 Censorship of morals : judiciary : army 

weights and measures, and control commercial transactions by preventing 
fraud in sales and the counterfeiting of goods or the making of extortion- 
ate charges. He forbade the public sale of wine and the playing of 
musical instruments in public places. In regard to the practices of 
religion it was his duty to see that the correct ritual observances were 
followed, for instance, to prevent the utterance of religious formulae not 
sanctioned by authority, or the repetition in a loud voice of those 
that were to be uttered in low tones ; he could stop a man from taking 
part in public worship who had not performed the prescribed rites of 
ablution, or had not carried them out according to the strict prescriptions 
of the ritual law; he could also punish a man who was detected breaking 
the fast of Ramadan. He found suitable husbands for widows and took 
care that no divorced women married before the expiration of the legal 
period. He protected slaves from having tasks imposed upon them that 
they were not strong enough to perform, and punished the owners of 
beasts of burden if they did not provide their animals with sufficient 
provender or overworked them. His authority even extended to the 
inspection of dolls, to see whether they bore any resemblance to idols or 
served any other purpose than that of accustoming little girls to the 
care of infants. Unless he had received express authority, the Prefect of 
Police could not interfere with the office of the magistrate, for if an 
accused person denied his guilt the matter had to be brought before the 

J udge " 

The judges were appointed either directly by the Caliph or an official, 

such as his Wazlr, or by a governor to whom authority had been dele- 
gated. In the appointment of a judge the locality in which he could 
exercise jurisdiction had to be expressly stated, and his authority was 
either general or restricted. In the former instance he not only tried cases 
but, among other duties, appointed guardians for minors, lunatics, and 
others who could not manage their own property, administered religious 
endowments, and saw that wills were carried out according to the direc- 
tions of the testator. There was a special court of appeal in which were 
heard complaints of the miscarriage of justice in the administrative or 
judicial department; the earlier Abbasid Caliphs received such complaints 
in public audience, but after the reign of Muhtadi (869-870) this office 
was put into commission and a special officer appointed as president of 
the Board for the investigation of grievances. In the reign of Muqtadir 
(908-932), his mother, who controlled the administration, appointed to 
this post her Mistress of the Robes. 

The organisation of the army varied at different times in Muslim 
history. By the Abbasid period the troops were divided into two classes: 
the regular Arab army kept on a permanent footing and paid out of the 
State Treasury, and the volunteers who were not entered on the register 
and received no fixed pay. The latter received grants out of the poor tax, 
and took part in the annual raids into Byzantine territory or into the 

The Turkish guard 285 

neighbouring countries of the unbelievers. As the Abbasids cume into 
power largely through the assistance of troops from Khurasan, these 
formed a separate division of the army recruited from that part of their 
dominions. Later on, Mu'tasim (833-842) added another separate army 
corps made up of Turks, and also enrolled a contingent of slaves mainly 
from North Africa. The favour which Mu'tasim extended towards these 
foreign troops, and the disaffection excited by the excesses they committed 
on the citizens of Baghdad, was one of the reasons that determined him 
to transfer his capital to Samarra in 836. Here he built enormous 
barracks for his Turkish troops and encouraged Turkish chieftains to 
come and live under his protection ; he assigned separate sections of the 
vast city that grew up around his palace to the Turkish troops according 
to their tribes and their original habitat, and, in order to keep them 
apart from the surrounding population, he purchased numbers of Turkish 
slave girls whom he compelled his troops to marry ; fixed stipends were 
assigned to these slave girls and registers were kept of their names. These 
Turkish guards came gradually to outnumber every other section of the 
army, and they grew in wealth and influence as the number of posts con- 
ferred upon them increased, until gradually the administration passed 
from the hands of the Persians into those of the Turks, and the Caliph 
became quite at the mercy of his Turkish guard. Things came to such 
a pass that more than one Caliph was put to death by his own troops, 
and the election of his successor was determined by his Turkish officers. 
Still greater confusion arose when rival factions among the Turks them- 
selves came to blows with one another: the administration fell into dis- 
order, the provinces ceased to remit revenue to the capital, and the 
troops mutinied and clamoured for their arrears of pay. It was to 
escape from such an intolerable position that the Caliph Mu'tamid 
in 892 abandoned Samarra as a capital. 

As the central authority declined and the Empire broke up into a 
number of independent states and fiefs, the character of the military 
organisation changed, and in place of the great standing army under a 
single command a system of military fiefs grew up, according to which 
different members of a ruling house or separate chiefs were given charge 
over a town or a district, on condition that they paid an annual tribute 
and supplied at their own cost a fixed number of troops to their overlord. 
But in all these separate bodies of troops the presence of Turkish soldiers 
became a common feature, since fresh accessions to their number were con- 
tinuously coining from the East as the Turkish troops learned of the 
wealth and power that their fellow-tribesmen could gain by service within 
the Muslim Empire. 

Many of these Turkish soldiers were slaves, and one reason for the 
dependence of the Caliphs upon them was the belief that security could 
be obtained by the possession of a bodyguard entirely dependent on the 
favour of the sovereign without any ties of family or relationship with 

286 Slavery: commerce 

the rest of the population. When the Caliphs became disillusioned of 
the notion that loyalty could be purchased in this manner from the 
Turks, they still continued to place reliance upon their slaves, and 
Muqtadir (908-932) in his desire to maintain his authority against the 
troublesome Turkish troops acquired as many as 11,000 slaves, some of 
whom he promoted to high office and placed in command of his army. 

Slavery from the outset had been a recognised institution of Muslim 
society, but from the reign of this Caliph the tenure by slaves of some 
of the highest offices of the, state became an increasingly characteristic 
feature of the social organisation. Conquests and raids had from the 
earliest days of the expansion of the Arab Empire added to the slave 
population of the great cities, but a constant supply was kept up later 
through the well-organised slave-trade, which brought such enormous 
numbers of black slaves from Africa that their armed risings were at 
times a source of serious disorder. The white slaves were brought in 
thousands from various Turkish tribes in Central Asia, and also from 
Mediterranean ports, especially from Spain and Italy. Many of these 
slaves were employed by their masters in trade and commercial enterprises 
of various kinds. 

The transference of the capital to 'Iraq by the Abbasid Caliphs was 
followed by a period of great commercial expansion. Not only did the 
possession of enormous wealth create a demand for costly articles, such 
as silks from China and furs from northern Europe, but trade was pro- 
moted by certain special conditions, such as the vast extent of the Muslim 
empire, the spread of Arabic as a world-language, and the exalted status 
assigned to the merchant in the Muslim system of ethics ; it was remem- 
bered that the Prophet himself had been a merchant and had commended 
trading during the pilgrimage to Mecca. Not only did the great trade 
routes through the empire facilitate commercial relations, but under the 
Abbasids navigation received a great impulse ; for the Eastern trade, 
Basrah, a Muslim creation, was one of the most flourishing ports; in the 
West, the Arabs entered into the inheritance of the great Mediterranean 
ports of the Roman Empire. To the sea-faring inhabitants of the coasts 
of Syria and Egypt the Arabs were indebted also for the building up 
of their fleet, which became so formidable a rival of the Byzantine navy. 

The theory of the Arab State was that of a community of believers 
holding the primitive faith revealed by God to Adam and successive 
prophets, and occupying the heritage of the earth that God had given to 
Adam and his descendants ; but from the very outset there was a recog- 
nition of persons who did not accept the faith of Islam, and the Koran 
enjoins toleration towards the "people of the Book,'" i.e. the Jews and the 
Christians, who are looked upon as professing a religion that is a 
corrupted form of God's original and oft-repeated revelation. 

According to the theory of the Arab legists based on the practice of 
the Prophet and his immediate successors, religious toleration was granted 

Toleration 287 

to the Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians, on condition that they paid 
tribute. The non-Muslim living under Arab rule was technically called 
Dhimml (literally, one with whom a compact has been made), and the 
theory was that agreements were made by the Arab conquerors as they 
extended their authority over different cities and districts. The Arab 
historians record several examples of such agreements, but by the Abbasid 
period the actual practice appears to have become uniform, modified only 
by the idiosyncracies of local governors. Under the influence of the 
communistic theory of the young Muslim community, in accordance with 
which the immense wealth pdured into the Public Treasury, as the Arab 
conquests were extended in the Roman and Persian Empires, was divided 
among the faithful, some attempt appears to have been made to prevent 
the Arab Muslims from settling down in conquered territory, with the 
intention that they might constitute a permanent army. Consequently 
the payers of taxes were the original inhabitants of the conquered 
territories, and recent investigations go to prove that the taxes they paid 
to the Arabs were much the same as those they had been accustomed to 
pay the former governments. But, according to the theory of the legists, 
the non-Muslims paid jizyah as a poll tax, in return for which they 
received protection for life and property and exemption from military 
service. The system broke down when the first conquests were followed 
by the conversion to Islam of large sections of the newly-acquired sub- 
jects; their claim to be exempted from the land-tax they had been 
accustomed to pay threatened the state with financial ruin, and the 
government was compelled to levy land-tax from Muslims and non- 
Muslims alike. The jizyah in some form or another continued to be 
levied upon the members of the protected religious communities that 
refused to accept Islam ; it is very doubtful, however, whether the 
accounts given in legal treatises on the subject correspond to the actual 
practice followed in the collection of this tax. 

In the Koran the only "people of the Book" expressly mentioned 
were the Jews and the Christians. When the conquest of Persia brought 
a large Zoroastrian population under Arab rule, it was conveniently 
remembered that the Prophet had given orders that the Zoroastrians 
were to be treated just like the "people of the Book" and that jizy ah 
might be taken from them also. A similar policy of religious tolerance 
was extended to the heathen Harranians and Mandaeans, though, 
according to the strict letter of the law, they should either have been 
put to death or compelled to embrace Islam. The Manichaeans likewise 
were not entitled to toleration according to Muslim law, but they survived 
as a separate sect up to the tenth century, and during the reign of 
Ma'mun (813-833) the leader of this sect held a public disputation with 
the Muslim theologians in Baghdad in the presence of the Caliph himself; 
but even on this occasion the Caliph had to furnish this religious teacher 
with a bodyguard to prevent his being exposed to insult from the fanatical 
ch. x. 

288 Religious persecution 

populace, and in later reigns the persecution of the Manichaeans became 
so severe that those who escaped fled into Turkestan. 

During the period of the Umayyads the religious indifference that 
characterised most of the rulers of this dynasty, with the exception of 
Omar ibn 'Abd-al-'AzIz (717-720), lent support to this theory of tolera- 
tion, and the condition of the Christians and the Jews appears to have 
been tolerable, except, of course, that like all the subject peoples, they 
were always exposed to the exactions of rapacious taxgatherers. There was 
a change for the worse with the advent of the Abbasids, in consequence 
of the emphasis that this dynasty laid upon religious considerations and 
its zealous patronage of orthodoxy. Harun (786-809) passed an edict 
compelling Jews and Christians to adopt a different costume to that of 
the Muslims, but it appears to have been put into force only in the 
capital and even there to have soon ceased to be applied. This temporary 
change of attitude was very possibly the result of the treachery which the 
Emperor Nicephorus shewed in his dealings with this Caliph. A more 
serious persecution broke out in the reign of Mutawakkil (847-861). 
This fanatical Caliph lent the support of the state to the strong orthodox 
re-action that had set in against the rationalistic tendencies which had 
had free play under former rulers, and he came forward as the champion 
of the extreme orthodox party to which the mass of the Muslim popula- 
tion belonged. He persecuted the Mu'tazilites, whose doctrines had been 
in the ascendancy in the court during the reign of Ma'mun, and branded 
with ridicule their doctrine that the Koran was created. He shewed a 
similar persecuting zeal against the Shi'ah sect, the members of which 
were imprisoned and scourged, and he pulled down the tomb of the 
martyred Husain at Karbala and forbade pilgrimages to its site. The 
Christians suffered equally during this period of intolerance. They were 
ordered to wear a distinctive dress, dismissed from their employments in 
government offices, forbidden to ride on horses, and harassed with several 
other restrictions. The churches that had been built since the Arab 
conquest were ordered to be pulled down, and the dwellings of some of 
the wealthier Christians were turned into mosques. To the reign of this 
fanatical ruler belongs the restrictive ordinances which were traditionally 
ascribed to Omar, the companion and successor of the Prophet; but 
these intolerant regulations appear to have been in force spasmodically 
only, and during the confusion into which the administration fell it was 
not possible to put them into force any more than any other statutes. 
After each fanatical outburst of persecution the Christians returned to 
their posts in the government offices ; indeed the administration could 
not do without them, for it had depended upon their special knowledge 
and skill from the very beginning of the Arab conquest. Despite the 
complaints repeatedly made by fanatics, the Caliphs persisted in bestowing 
high offices on non-Muslims. On one occasion when objections were made 
to the Caliph Mu'tadid (892-902) against a Christian being governor of 

Position of Christians 289 

the important city of Anbar (on the Euphrates about forty -two miles 
from Baghdad), he claimed the right to appoint a Christian to any office 
for which he might be fitted, and added that such a man might be more 
suitable than a Muslim since the latter might possibly shew undue con- 
sideration to his co-religionists. 

That such a high administrative office should have been entrusted to 
a Christian was probably a rare occurrence, but the ministry of finance 
seems to have been generally filled with them. As physicians too, the 
Christians exercised great influence at court and acquired considerable 
wealth. Gabriel, the personal physician to the Caliph Harun, was a 
Nestorian Christian and is said to have amassed a fortune of more than 
three and a half million pounds sterling. 

In trade and commerce too the Christians attained considerable 
affluence; indeed it was frequently their wealth that excited against them 
the jealous cupidity of the mob. The wealth possessed by the Christians 
may be estimated by the magnificent churches erected under Muslim rule, 
though according to the theory of the legists it was not permissible to 
build any new churches in Muslim territory after the conquest. In 
addition to the record of the building of many churches under the 
Umayyads, several such foundations are mentioned in the Abbasid 
period, for instance, in 759 the Nestorian Bishop Cyprian completed a 
church in Nisibis, on which he had expended the sum of 56,000 dinars. 
In the reign of Mahdi (775-785) a church was built in Baghdad for the 
use of the Christian prisoners taken captive during the numerous cam- 
paigns against the Byzantine Empire, and his son Harun gave permission 
for the erection of new churches, including a magnificent building in which 
the Jacobite Bishop of MardTn enshrined the bodies of the prophets 
Daniel and Ezekiel. The Christian prime minister of the Buwaihid prince 
Adud-ud-Daulah (949-982), who administered Southern Persia and 'Iraq, 
also built a number of new churches, and the building of churches and 
monasteries is recorded as late as the reign of MustadI (1170-1180). 
Some evidence of the wealth in Christian hands is given by the large sums 
which were expended in bribes, e.g. in 912 the Nestorian Patriarch in 
Baghdad spent 30,000 dinars (gold coins) in intrigues against a rival 
patriarch of the Orthodox Church ; the Nestorian Patriarch, Isho'yabh, 
in 1190 secured his appointment by means of a bribe of 5,000 dinars ; 
a century later, another patriarch spent 7,000 dinars for a similar purpose, 
and his successor did the same. 

Of the literature produced during the Abbasid period it is only 
possible to give a brief sketch here. Not only was the number of individual 
authors very great, and the output of many of them enormous (e.g. as 
many as 70 works by Ghazali are recorded and of the writings of Avicenna 
99 have survived to us), but they left hardly any subject of human 
interest untouched. Some estimate of the immense literary activity of 

C. MED. H. VOL. IV. CH. X. 19 

290 Literature under the Abbasids 

this period may be formed from the " Index, 1 ' compiled in 988 by an- 
Nadim, of the Arabic books on every branch of knowledge extant in his 
day 1 . It was in this period also that Arabic began to take on the 
characteristics of a world-literature, and became the literary medium 01 
expression for others besides the Arabs themselves. Some of the most 
noteworthy contributions to this literature were made by Persians, and 
the decline of Syriac literature marks the ascendancy of Arabic. Not only 
did the Nestorian and Jacobite Christians tend more and more to prefer 
Arabic to Syriac as a literary language, but the heathen of Harran 
translated into Arabic much of the wisdom of the Greeks, and nearly all 
the scientific and philosophic works by Jews between the ninth and 
thirteenth centuries were written in the same language. 

Of the poetry of the Abbasid period, only brief mention is possible 
here. While some poets continued to imitate the ancient models set in the 
pre-Isliimic odes and followed by writers of the Umayyad period, there 
were many more who grew weary of these antiquated conventions and 
poured scorn on what they considered to be the barbarisms of the desert. 
The most famous representative of the new school of poetry was Abu 
Nuwas (ob. c. 810), one the court poets of Harun; his poems in praise 
of love and wine made him notorious, and he took the lead among the 
licentious poets of that reign. In striking contrast to his rollicking con- 
temporary was another poet who enjoyed the patronage of Harun, Abu 1 1- 
'Atahiyah (ob. 828), whose poetry is marked by a profound scepticism 
and a philosophic spirit of asceticism. The growing interest in religious 
and ethical problems and the encouragement given by the Abbasids to 
theological studies were not without their influence on poetry, and a great 
quantity of pietistic verse was produced; but with the widening of 
intellectual interest, poetry came indeed to reflect every aspect of the 
many-sided culture of this period. Two more names must be mentioned, 
that of Mutanabbi (ob. 965), in the judgment of most of his fellow- 
countrymen the greatest of the Muslim Arab poets, who was the 
panegyrist of the Hamdanid prince, Saif-ad-Daulah, the generous patron 
of Abu 1 1-Faraj Isfahan!, FarabI, and many other writers; and that of 
Abu 1 l-'Ala al-Ma'arri (ob. 1058), the sceptical blind poet, to whom 
Dr Nicholson has devoted an erudite and illuminating monograph 2 . 

Of the vast literature of the Abbasid period a large part is connected 
with those various branches of study that grew out of the efforts to 
elucidate the Koran. Tradition ascribes the composition of the earliest 
work on Arabic grammar to the fact that a learned scholar heard a man, 
quoting a verse of the Koran, make such a gross grammatical blunder as 
to turn the sense of the passage into blasphemy. But apart from the 
need of a scientific exposition of the language for an intelligent under- 
standing of the Koran, Arabic was rapidly adopted, at least for purposes 

1 E. G. Browne, IAterary History of Persia, \, .383 sqq. 

2 Studies in Islamic Poetry, chap. n. Cambridge. 1921. 

Exegesis: law 291 

of literary expression, by the subject races, and even the Arabs them- 
selves, belonging to different tribes and speaking varying dialects in a 
foreign country, were in need of guidance if the purity of their speech 
was to be preserved. A school of grammarians sprang up during the 
Umayyad period in Basrah, which had been founded just after the con- 
quest of 'Iraq as a great military station to command the approach from 
the sea, and a rival school arose later in the city of Kufah, founded about 
the same time as a permanent camp on the desert side of the Euphrates. 
Two representatives of these schools may be mentioned here. Slbawaihi 
(ob. 793) wrote the first systematic exposition of Arabic grammar and 
had a long line of imitators in the Basrah school; to the school of Kufah 
belonged Kisa' I (ob. 805), whom Harun appointed tutor to his sons; both 
he and Slbawaihi were Persians by birth, and there is a record of their 
having met in controversy on points of grammar. By the early part of 
the ninth century these rival schools had lost their importance, and the 
leading grammarians were to be found in Baghdad. 

The study of the Koran also gave a stimulus to the study of 
history, pre-eminently the life of the Prophet, and then of earlier 
prophets mentioned in the sacred text; to law, the primary source of 
which was the Koran ; and to other branches of learning. The exegesis 
of the text of the Koran itself began as a branch of the science of 
tradition, and the oldest systematic collections of traditions, such as 
those of Bukhari (ob. 870) and Tirmidh! (ob. 892), contain comments 
on the subject-matter of the Koran. Tabarfs (ob. 923) monumental 
commentary was epoch-making; it not only embodies the work of its 
predecessors in an exhaustive enumeration of traditional interpretations 
and lexicographical notes on the text, supported by quotations from pre- 
Islamic poetical literature, but discusses difficulties of grammar and 
deals with questions of dogma and law. The commentaries produced by 
succeeding generations are without number, but among these special 
mention must be made of the Kashshqf of Zamakhsharl (ob. 1143), one 
of the greatest Arabic scholars of his time, though by birth a Persian ; 
his work was exploited by succeeding generations of commentators, and 
their tribute to his erudition was the more remarkable since the author 
was a Mu'tazilite and had embodied in his work some of the heretical 
opinions of his sect. This great work formed the basis of the most 
widely studied commentary in the Muslim world to the present day, 
that of BaidawT (ob. 1286). 

The Muslim system of law claimed to be based on the Koran, but 
owing to the scarcity of material provided by the sacred text a distinct 
branch of Muslim study with an enormous literature of its own grew up, 
technically known as Fiqh. This deals not only with legal matters in the 
narrower sense of the term, i.e. criminal and civil law, the law of property 
and inheritance, constitutional law, and the principles of administration 
of the state and the conduct of war, but also with ritual and religious 
ch. x. 19—2 

292 Dogmatic systems 

observances and the innumerable details of the daily life falling under 
the consideration of a legal system that makes no distinction between the 
civil and the religious life of the believer. This system of law was 
developed largely under the influence of the Roman law which the Arabs 
found operative in Syria and Mesopotamia ; in matters of ritual there 
were borrowings also from the Jewish law. 

The religious character of the Abbasid dynasty gave an impulse to 
the systematic codification of Muslim law, and produced a vast literature 
embodying the different standpoints of the various schools of legists that 
grew up within the SunnI sect to which the government belonged. By 
the end of the Abbasid period these had become narrowed down to the 
four that survive to the present day, but there had been others which 
became obsolete. These various schools differed mainly according to the 
place the legists allowed to independent judgment and the use of 
analogical deduction. In addition to the Sunni schools, the other sects, 
particularly the ShTahs, developed legal systems of their own. 

Dogmatic literature as distinct from exegesis and Jiqh appears first to 
have grown up in connexion with the problems of the divine unity and 
its harmony with the attributes of God, and of the divine justice in 
relation to the problem of the freedom or determination of the human 
will. This dogmatic literature tended more and more to take on a 
metaphysical form as Muslim thinkers came under the influence of Greek 
thought, brought to their knowledge through versions of Neoplatonic 
and Aristotelean treatises translated into Arabic either from Syriac or 
directly from Greek. The writings of the earliest school of speculative 
theologians, the Mu'tazilites, have almost entirely perished, but the 
teachings of another liberal movement in theology which endeavoured to 
harmonise authority with reason and seems to have been connected with the 
Isma'Tlian propaganda, have been preserved to us in the treatises of the 
so-called Brethren of Sincerity (made accessible to the European reader 
by Dieterici). They wrote towards the end of the tenth century and put 
forth an encyclopaedic scheme of human knowledge, dividing learning 
into three branches — the preliminary, the religious, and the philosophic 
studies; under the last heading they grouped propaedeutics (consisting of 
arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music), logic, physics, and theology. 

This group of thinkers appears to have been obliged to meet in secret, 
for the orthodox reaction, which received the support of the government 
under Mutawakkil (847-861) and found expression in the writings of 
Ash'arl (ob. 933), the founder of orthodox scholasticism, effectually 
crushed liberal movements in theology. Ash'ari had been brought up as 
a Mu'tazilite, but when he became converted to orthodoxy he adapted 
the dialectic methods of the philosophers to the defence of the orthodox 
position. A more popular exposition of the Ash'arite system of theology 
was given by Ghazali (ob. 1111) who, in the reaction from arid scholas- 
ticism, took refuge in Sufiism and gave mystical experience a place in his 

Mysticism* Historical literature 293 

reasoned exposition of orthodox doctrines. His literary activity was 
enormous, his best-known works being the autobiography of his spiritual 
experience in his Deliverer from Error, and the vast compendium of 
his religious system, The Revivification of the Sciences of the Faith. 

Mysticism in Islam had had a long history before Ghazali embodied 
it in a system of orthodox theology. Beginning as a purely ascetic move- 
ment, it came under foreign influences, notably Neoplatonic and Gnostic, 
and so took on more theosophic forms of expression. The teachings of 
the early Sufis were expressed in sayings handed down by their disciples; 
one of the oldest systematic treatises was the Sustenance of the Souls 
by Abu Talib al-Makkl (ob. 996), which was followed by a vast number 
of writings too numerous to be recorded here. 

Historical literature had its origin in biographies of the Prophet and 
his companions. The foundations of this literature were laid in the 
Umayyad period, but the oldest extant biography of the Prophet, written 
by Ibn Ishiiq, who died in 768 during the reign of the second Abbasid 
Caliph, has only survived to us in a recension of it made by Ibn Hisham 
(ob. 834), a distinguished grammarian. Another biographer of the 
Prophet, Waqidi (ob. 822), enjoyed the patronage of Harun and wrote 
The Book of the Wars, a detailed account of the campaigns of the 
Prophet and the early successes of the Arab conquerors. His con- 
temporary, Ibn Sa'd (ob. 844), wrote an immense biographical work 
containing a life of the Prophet and of the various classes of his 
companions and those who immediately followed them. Baladhuri 
(ob. 892) also wrote an account of the early Arab conquests, which is 
one of the most valuable sources for this early period, and began a 
vast biographical work on the life of the Prophet and his kinsmen, 
among whom the Abbasids are reckoned. Other historians took a larger 
range. Dinawari (ob. 895) in his Book of the Long Histories paid 
especial attention to the history of Persia, and Ya'qubl, his contemporary, 
wrote a manual of universal history ; but all these works were surpassed 
in extent by the monumental Annals of the Apostles and the Kings 
by Tabari, whose commentary on the Koran has already been mentioned, 
a history of the world so far as it was of interest to a Muslim historian, 
from the creation to the year 915. His work was abridged by a later 
writer, Ibn al-Athir (ob. 1234), who likewise wrote a history of the world, 
but from the beginning of the tenth century gives an independent 
record ; he also wrote a history of the Atabegs of Mosul and an alpha- 
betical dictionary entitled Lions of the Jungle, biographies of 7,500 
companions of the Prophet. 

Other biographers confined their attention to limited groups, e.g. the 
philosophers, scientists, physicians, or distinguished citizens of particular 
cities ; but none of these equal the interest that attaches to the Book 
of Songs composed by Abul Faraj Isfahan! (ob. 967); beginning merely 
with a collection of songs composed by the most famous musicians at the 

294 Belles lettres 

court of the Caliph Harun, it contains not only detailed and graphic 
accounts of poets and singers, but incidentally is one of the most impor- 
tant of our sources for the history of the culture of the Muslim world up 
to the ninth century. 

An entirely new form of literary activity was introduced in a highly 
artificial form of rhymed prose, known as the Maqamah. The use of 
rhyme is characteristic of the earliest work in Arabic prose known to us, 
the Koran, and as a literary device it runs through Arabic prose litera- 
ture, finding special expression in pulpit oratory and the elevated 
epistolary style of official correspondence ; but this style of composition 
gave rise to a distinct department of literature when Badi'-uz-Zaman 
Hamadhan! (ob. 1007) conceived the idea of popularising it in a narra- 
tive of the adventures of a vagabond scholar, who suddenly appears 
in gatherings of wealthy persons and learned assemblies and by the 
display of his erudition gains for himself ample reward. The author 
makes such compositions an occasion for displaying his erudition by an 
abundant use of rare and obsolete words and recondite phrases, illustrating 
now the idiom of the Bedouins of the desert and now that of typical 
examples of the townsfolk ; though clad in a garb of out-of-the-way 
learning, these compositions are full of humour and pointed satire against 
various classes of contemporary society. The fame of this work was, how- 
ever, eclipsed by that of Hariri (ob. 1122), whose Maqamat are regarded 
as a masterpiece of Arabic literary style, full of all manner of rhetorical 
devices, verbal conceits, and verbal puzzles, intelligible only to trained 
students of grammar and philology. Hariri recounts the wanderings of 
a learned knave who also suddenly appears in all kinds of unexpected 
circumstances, and after a witty declaration, often in verse, as mysteriously 
disappears again. Hariri claimed that his work was not intended merely 
to amuse but had also a deeper moral purpose, and there are indeed 
passages in which his hero utters sentiments of the loftiest morals in 
language of great dignity and beauty. 

Prose literature developed also in various other forms of belles lettres, 
notably in translations, such as the stories of Kalilah and Dimnah, largely 
under the stimulus of the varied foreign influences that met in the cul- 
tured society of Baghdad. Intellectual interest was widened until men of 
letters left no subject untouched ; typical of such a wide intellectual 
outlook is the Mu'tazilite theologian Jahiz (ob. 869) who, in his numerous 
writings, ranged over such subjects as theology, rhetoric, natural history 
(as in his Book of Animals), anthropology (in treatises that discussed the 
relative merits of the Arabs and the Turks), and studies of contemporary 
society (as in his Book of Misers, of Young Gallants, of Scribes, of 
Singers, etc). The influence of Jahiz on Arabic prose literature was 
considerable ; his pupil Mubarrad (ob. 898) collected in his Kamil 
historical notices and examples of early poetry and prose, and such com- 
pilations became a recognised form of literary activity to which several 

The encyclopaedists and geographers 295 

writers of genius devoted themselves. Akin to such writers in their wide 
intellectual outlook were the encyclopaedists, of whom Mas'udl (ob. 956) 
may be taken as an example. He spent a large part of his life in travel, 
and visited almost every part of Muslim Asia from Armenia to India and 
from the Caspian to Zanzibar. Everything that he saw interested him, 
and his reading was extensive and profound. In his latter years he com- 
posed a universal history from the Creation up to his own period, but 
his range was not confined to the conventional circle of Islamic learning, 
for he studied the beliefs of rival creeds and the wisdom of the Indians, 
and enquired into puzzling problems of natural history, such as the source 
of the Nile and the phenomena of tides, and described the sea-serpent 
and the rhinoceros. 

Mas'udl is typical of the mental curiosity which produced a rich 
scientific literature during the Abbasid period. The practical needs of 
administrators gave an impulse to the scientific study of geography? 
and the oldest geographical work in Arabic that has survived is an 
official handbook of Roads and Countries by a Persian postmaster, Ibn 
Khurdadhbih, who lived in the first half of the ninth century. The 
geographical literature that followed forms an important section of Arabic 
literature written by eager and close observers. MaqdisI, who wrote in 
985, embodied in an attractive style the accumulated experience of 
twenty years of travel from Sind and Sistan in the East to Spain in the 
West. But the greatest of the Arab geographers was Yaqut (ob. 1229), 
a Greek slave whose master had him educated in Baghdad ; he lived 
a wandering life, finally settling down in Aleppo; among his other 
writings, he wrote a vast geographical dictionary and a biographical 
dictionary of learned men. Zakarlya of Qazwln (ob. 1283) summed up 
the geographical knowledge of his time in a comprehensive cosmo- 
graphy, a kind of geographical encyclopaedia that deals not only with 
geography proper but also with astronomy, anthropology, and natural 
history; this book, translated into Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, was held 
to be the standard work on geographical sciences until a knowledge of 
Western learning penetrated the Muslim world. 

Philosophy, as distinguished from theological scholasticism, begins 
with Kind! (ob. c. 873), one of the few writers of pure Arab descent 
who acquired distinction in letters during this period ; but he was a 
translator rather than a constructive thinker, and among the two hundred 
treatises he wrote on such different subjects as astronomy, geometry, 
music, politics, and medicine, there are translations of parts of Aristotle's 
works and abridgments of others. For his pupil Ahmad, a son of the 
Caliph Mu'tasim, he prepared a version of the first work of Greek 
philosophy translated into Arabic; though this was actually made up of 
portions of the Enmads of Plotinus, it bore the misleading title of the 
Theology of Aristotle^ and this absurd designation is responsible for 
much of the confusion prevailing in Arabic philosophy when attempts 

296 Philosophy 

were made to expound Aristotelean and Platonic doctrines. A more 
permanent influence on Muslim philosophic thought was exercised by 
Farabi (ob. 950), a Turk, who pursued his studies in medicine, mathe- 
matics, and philosophy in Baghdad, but spent the last years of his life in 
Aleppo under the tolerant patronage of the Hamdanid prince, Saif-ad- 
Daulah. Like Kindi, his literary activity was enormous, and included a 
number of commentaries upon Aristotle as well as independent ex- 
positions of metaphysical problems. He certainly presented a fuller 
exposition of Aristotelean doctrine than had hitherto been available in 
the Arabic language, but, as he, like Kind!, believed in the authenticity 
of the Theology of Aristotle and wrote several books to establish the 
agreement between the doctrines of Aristotle and Plato, his exposition of 
Aristotle is often incorrect. The brief aphoristic form in which he com- 
posed many of his treatises, and the mysticism that interpenetrates his 
thought, makes his system somewhat obscure. The Aristotelean doctrine 
received a much clearer and more methodical exposition in the writings 
of Ibn Slna (Avicenna) (ob. 1037), whose philosophical development was 
first stimulated by the study of one of Farabfs works. He was more 
concerned than his predecessor to attempt to reconcile the Aristotelean 
metaphysic with Muslim theology. The philosophy of Avicenna, however, 
belongs almost as much to Western medieval thought as to that of the 
Muslim East, and will be dealt with in another part of this work. 

Henceforth, two distinct streams of philosophic thought manifest 
themselves; the Spanish philosophers Ibn Bajja (Avenpace) (ob. 1138), 
Ibn Tufail (Abubacer) (ob. 1185), and Ibn Rushd (Averroes) (ob. 1198), 
continued to work out philosophic problems in the West, but their influence 
was more profoundly felt in Christian Europe than in the Muslim East. 
Here, particularly in Persia, under the stimulus given to speculation by 
GhazalT, the philosophers tended more and more to become orthodox ; 
they studied Greek philosophy assiduously and were profoundly influenced 
by Greek logic, but they carried on a persistent attack upon separate 
Aristotelean doctrines in their defence of Muslim dogma. Fakhr-ud-Din 
Razi (ob. 1209), the author of the great commentary on the Koran, 
The Keys of the Unseen, was interpenetrated with Greek ideas, but both 
here and in his numerous philosophical works he developed the orthodox 
Ash'arite doctrines with a strong element of mysticism. 

A strain of mysticism also characterises the idealistic philosophy of 
Shihab-ud-Dln Suhrawardi (ob. 1191), who attacked the position that 
truth could be attained by pure reason in his Unveiling of the Greek 
Absurdities, and in his philosophy of Illumination sought to reconcile 
with the theology of Islam the ancient Persian doctrine that identified 
light and spiritual substance. He founded a school of Persian meta- 
physics in which speculation and emotion were united and harmonised. 

During the next century Nasir-ud-Din Tusi (ob. 1273) also expounded 
Greek philosophy in the spirit of orthodox Muslim dogma, and had 

Medicine 297 

numerous commentators who followed him in making similar use of 
Greek metaphysics and psychology. His contemporaries, Khawinji (ob. 
1248), Abhari (ob. 1264), and KatibI (ob. 1276), wrote compendiums of 
logic, which have been text-books for centuries and have been commented 
upon by generations of scholars. 

In the science of medicine also the Arabs were the pupils of the Greeks. 
The medical system of the Greeks had been studied in the great school 
of Jundl-Shapur during the Sasanian period, and from the day when the 
second Abbasid Caliph summoned Georgios, the son of Bukhtyishu', from 
Jundl-Shapur to Baghdad in 765, this Nestorian Christian family remained 
in high favour at the court for more than two centuries and a half. 
Either from Syriac or the original Greek, Christian physicians translated 
into Arabic the works of Hippocrates, Galen, Dioscorides, and other 
authorities on medicine. Of these translators one of the most active was 
Hunain ibn Ishaq (ob. 873), known to medieval Europe as Johannitius; 
he belonged to a Christian Arab tribe, and studied first in Baghdad and 
later in Jundl-Shapur. Another city that produced translators from 
the Greek was Harran, the seat of a sect known as Sabaeans, to which 
belonged an active translator Thabit ibn Qurrah (ob. 901), whose sons and 
grandsons were also men of learning. Some knowledge of the Hindu 
system of medicine also appears to have reached Baghdad, aud a summary 
of the Indian medicine is given by 'All ibn Habban, who in 850 compiled 
one of the earliest comprehensive works on medical science in Arabic, 
The Paradise of Wisdom. Arabic medical literature, however, is by no 
means limited to translations, and one of the most prolific contributors 
to this literature, Razl, who died in the early part of the tenth century, 
was a skilled clinical observer, and made distinctly original contributions 
to medical science. Out of the fifty works from his pen that are known 
to us, representing less than half of his writings, two were translated 
into Latin during the Middle Ages under the titles of the Continent 
and Liber Almansoris; the first, the If awl, is a work so enormous that 
only wealthy persons could afford to have copies made of it, and it con- 
sequently became rare; the other book takes its name from his patron, 
one of the Samanid princes of Khurasan, to whom it was dedicated. 

Another comprehensive system of medicine, known to the Middle Ages 
as the Liber Regius of Haly Abbas, was written by 'All ibn al-' Abbas, a 
Persian, for the Buwaihid prince 'Adud-ud-Daulah (949-982). It was 
diligently studied until its fame was eclipsed by the Qaniin (Canon) of 
Avicenna, who was as great a physician as he was a philosopher, and out 
of his 99 works that have survived this was the one most widely studied, 
not only in the East but also in the West, since Gerard of Cremona 
translated it in the twelfth century. Professor Browne says of this book : 
"Its encyclopaedic character, its systematic arrangement, its philosophic 
plan, perhaps even its dogmatism, combined with the immense repu- 
tation of its author in other fields besides medicine, raised it to a unique 

298 Mathematics and astronomy 

position in the medical literature of the Muslim world, so that the earlier 
works of ar-Razi and al-Majusi, in spite of their undoubted merits, were 
practically abrogated by it, and it is still regarded in the East by the 
followers of the old Greek medicine, the Tibb-i-Ytinani, as the last appeal 
on all matters connected with the healing art." 1 From the tenth 
century onward Spain produced a number of great physicians, who, of 
course, wrote in Arabic; while in Persia, the birth-place of the Arabic 
authors above mentioned, Razi, 'All ibn al-'Abbas, and Avicenna, a vast 
medical literature in the Persian language began with an encyclopaedia 
by a physician named Zain-ud-Dln Isma'Il, entitled the Dhakira-i 
Khwarazmshahl, in honour of his patron who was governor of Khwarazm 
(or Khiva) under the Seljuq Sultan Sanjar. 

In the Middle Ages students of science often endeavoured to be 
encyclopaedic, and several of the philosophers and physicians mentioned 
above devoted their attention to other branches of learning. As in the 
case of philosophy and medicine, the first impulse came from translations. 
These were for the most part made from Greek writings by Syrian 
Christians or by the so-called Sabaeans of Harran; but Sanskrit literature 
provided the earliest material, for an Indian in 771 brought to Mansur, 
the founder of Baghdad, a work on astronomy, which this Caliph ordered 
to be translated into Arabic, and shortly afterwards astronomical tables 
compiled under the Sasanians were translated from the Pahlavi. A great 
impulse to this work of translation was given by the Caliph Ma'mun 
(813-833), who organised it by establishing a special translation bureau, 
to which skilled translators were attracted by offers of large salaries and 
were employed in rendering into Arabic works on geometry, astronomy, 
engineering, music, and the like. The names of several of the translators 
who worked for him are known ; among them was Muhammad ibn Miisa 
al-Khwarazml, one of whose works translated into Latin at the beginning 
of the twelfth century under the title Algoritmi de numero Indorum intro- 
duced the Arabic numerals into Europe, while his treatise on algebra was 
in use in the West up to the sixteenth century. These men were not 
translators merely ; their own writings gave an impulse to mathematical 
and astronomical studies, which produced fruitful results in the advance- 
ment of these branches of knowledge. Astronomy especially was zealously 
studied, not only for its own sake but because of its connexion with 
astrology, and astronomers continued to enjoy the patronage of the more 
barbarous Turkish and Mongol dynasties that dispossessed the Arab 
Caliphate ; among these may be mentioned Omar Khayyam, known in 
modern times for his Persian poetry, who reformed the calendar in 1079, 
while as an astronomer he was in the service of the Seljuq Sultan Malik 
Shah. Among astronomers may also be mentioned one of the greatest 
intellects of the eleventh century, Beruni (ob. 1048); he dedicated to 

1 Arabian Medicine, p. 62. Cambridge. 1921. 

Astronomy 299 

the Sultan Mas'ud ibn Mahmud of Ghaznah a complete account of the 
science of astronomy, and wrote a number of smaller astronomical treatises 
dealing with the astrolabe and the planisphere. His profound knowledge 
of astronomy also reveals itself in his work on the calendars of different 
nations. But perhaps the greatest monument of his erudition that this 
remarkable man has left is his book on India, in which he gives an account 
of the religion, philosophy, astronomy, and customs of the Hindus, based 
upon a wide acquaintance with Sanskrit literature and upon his own 
personal observations. Nasir-ud-Dln TiisI, to whom reference has already 
been made as a philosophical writer, was in charge of an observatory at 
Marghah, several of the instruments in which he himself had invented ; 
in 1270 he dedicated to his patron the Mongol prince Hulagu astronomi- 
cal tables based on observations of the planets for twelve years, for in the 
midst of the appalling devastation that the Mongols inflicted upon Muslim 
culture — a ruin from which it has never recovered — they extended their 
patronage to one science at least, astronomy. 


The rise of the Seljuq power and the history of the various dynasties 
which were established by princes of that family deserve attention for 
more than one reason. Not only were the Seljuqs largely responsible for 
the consolidation of Islam during the later days of the Abbasid Caliphate, 
but it is from this revival of power, which was, in no small degree, due to 
their efforts, that the failure of the Crusaders to make any lasting im- 
pression on the East may be traced. Further, it is not alone in politics 
and warfare that the Seljuqs achieved success: they have laid mankind 
under a debt in other spheres. Their influence may be observed in religion, 
art, and learning. Their love of culture was shewn by the universities which 
sprang up in their cities and in the crowds of learned men fostered at their 
courts. Under them appeared some of the shining lights of Islam. The 
philosopher and statesman Nizam -al-Mulk, the mathematician -poet Omar 
Khayyam, warriors like Zangi, sultans like Malik Shah, Nur-ad-Din, and 
it is right to include Saladin himself, were the product of the Seljuq 
renaissance. To the Seljuq princes there can be ascribed, to a great ex- 
tent, not only the comparative failure of the Crusades, but an unconscious 
influence of East upon West, springing from the intercourse between 
Frank and Saracen in the holy wars. The rise of the Seljuq power 



(1) The following abbreviations are used for titles of periodicals : 

AB. Analecta Bollandiana. Brussels. 

AH 11. American Historical Review. New York and London. 

AKKR. Archiv fur katholisches Kirchenrecht. Mayence. 

AMur. Archivio Muratoriano. Rome. 

Arch. Ven. (and N. Arch. Ven. ; Arch. Ven.-Tri.). Archivio veneto. Venice. 40 

vols. 1871-90. Continued as Nuovo archivio veneto. 1st series. 20 

vols. 1801-1000. New series. 42 vols. 1901-1921. And Archivio 

veneto-tridentino. 1922 ff., in progress. 
Anzeiger fur schweizerische Alterthumskunde. Zurich. 
Annuaire-Bulletin de la Societe de l'histoire de France. Paris. 
Archivio storico italiano. Florence. Ser. i. 20 v. and App. 9 v. 

1842-53. Index. 1857. Ser. nuova. 18 v. 1855-08. Ser. in. 

26 v. 1865-77. Indexes to n and m. 1874. Suppt. 1877. Ser. iv. 

20 v. 1878-87. Index. 1891. Ser. v. 49 v. 1888-1912. Index. 

1900. Anni 71 etc. 1913 IF., in progress. (Index in Catalogue of 

The London Library vol. i. 1913.) 
Archivio storico lombardo. Milan. 

Archivio storico per le province napoletane. Naples. 1876 ff. 
Archivio della Societa romana di storia patria. Rome. 
Bullettino dell' Istituto storico italiano. Rome. 1886 if. 
Boletin de la R. Academia de la historia. Madrid. 
Byzantinische Zeitschrift. Leipsic. 1892 ff. 
Church Quarterly Review. London. 
Classical Review. London. 

Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Geschichtswissenschaft. Freiburg-im-Breisgau. 
Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Kirchenrecht. Leipsic. 
English Historical Review. London. 
Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte. Gottingen. 
Historisches Jahrbuch. Munich. 
Historische Vierteljahrsschrift. Leipsic. 
Historische Zeitschrift (von Sybel). Munich and Berlin. 
Journal Asiatique. Paris. 
Jahresberichte der Geschichtswissenschaft im Auftrage der historischen 

Gesellschaft zu Berlin. Berlin. 1878 ff. 
Journal of Hellenic Studies. London. 

Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain. London. 
Jahrbuch fur schweizerische Geschichte. Zurich. 
Journal of Theological Studies. London. 
Le moyen age. Paris. 
Mittheilungen des Instituts fur osterreichische Geschichtsforschung. 

Neu. Arch. Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft fur iiltere deutsche Geschichtskunde 

Hanover and Leipsic. 
NRDF. Nouvelle Revue historique du droit francais. Paris. 
QFIA. Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken. 

RA. Revue archeologique. Paris. 



























RBc'n. Revue benedictine. Marcdsous. 

RCHL. Revue critique d'histoire et de litte'rature. Paris. 

RH. Revue historique. Paris. 

RIID. Revue d'histoire diplomatique. Paris. 

RHE. Revue d'histoire ecclesiastique. Louvain. 

R he in. Mas. Rheinisches Museum fur Philologie. Frankfort-on-Main. 

RN. Revue de numisinatique. Paris. 

RQCA. Romische Quartalschrift fur christliche Altertumskunde und Kirchen- 
geschichte. Rome. 

RQII. Revue des questions historiques. Paris. 

RSI I. Revue de synthese historique. Paris. 

RSI. Rivista storica italiana. Turin. -See Gen. Bill. i. 

SK AW. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Vienna. 

[Philos.-hist. Classe.] 
SPAW. Sitzungsberichte der kon. preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. 

TRHS. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. London. 

W. Vizantiyski Vremennik (Bv(avTiva XpoviKii). St Petersburg (Petrograd). 

1894 if. 
ZCK. Zeitschrift fiir christliche Kunst. Diisseldorf. 

ZDMG. Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft. Leipsic. 
ZKG. Zeitschrift fiir Kirchengeschichte. Gotha. 

ZKT. Zeitschrift fiir katholische Theologie. Gotha. 

ZMNP. Zhurual ministerstva narodnago prosveshcheniya (Journal of the Ministry 

of Public Instruction). St Petersburg. 
ZR. Zeitschrift fiir Rechtsgeschichte. Weimar. 1861-78. Continued as 

ZSR. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fiir Rechtswissenschaft. Weimar. 1880 ff. 

ZVVT. Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie. Frankfort-on-Main. 

(2) Other abbreviations used are : 

AcadlBL. Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. 
AcadlP. Academie Imperiale de Petersbourg. 

Allgemeine deutsche Biographic See Gen. Bibl. i. 

See Mabillon and Acheiy in Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Acta Sanctorum Bollandiana. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Chartes. See Gen. Bibl. i. 

Nouvelle Biographie generale. See Gen. Bibl. i. 

Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Eludes. See Gen. Bibl. i. 

See Rerum Gallicarum...scriptores in Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Biographie universelle. -See Gen. Bibl. r. 
Coll. textes. Collection des textes pour servir a l'e'tude et a l'enseignement del'histoire. 
See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Corpus scriptorum historiae Byzantinae. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Dictionary of National Biography. See Gen. Bibl. i. 

Ecoles francaises d'Athenes et de Rome. Paris. 

Encyclopaedia Britannica. See Gen. Bibl. i. 















Ei*sch-G ruber. Ersch and Gruber's Allgemeine Encyklopadie. See Gen. Bibl. i. 

Fonti. Fonti per la storia d' Italia. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Jaffe. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

KAW. Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften. Vienna. 

Mansi. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

MEC. Memoires et documents publ. par l'Ecole des Chartes. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

MGH. Monumenta Germaniae Historica. .See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

MHP. Monumenta historiae patriae. Turin. -See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

MHSM. Monumenta spectantia historiam Slavorum meridionalium. -See Gen. 

Bibl. iv. 
MPG. Migne's Patrologiae cursus completus. Ser. graeco-latina. [Greek texts 

with Latin translations in parallel columns.] -See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

A bbreviatio ns 781 

MFL. Migne's Patrologiae cursus completus. Ser. latina. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

PAW. Konigliche preussische Akademie d. Wissenschaften. Berlin. 

RAH. Real Academia de la Historia. Madrid. 

RC. Record Commissioners. 

RE 3 . Real-Encyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie, etc. See Herzog and 

Hauck in Gen. Bibl. i, 
Rec. hist. Cr. Recueil des historians des Croisades. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 
RGS. Royal Geographical Society. 

RHS. Royal Historical Society. 

Rolls. Rerum Britannicarum medii aevi scriptores. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

RR.II.SS. See Muratori in Gen. Bibl. iv. 
SGUS. Scriptores rerum Germanicarum in usum scholarum. See Monumenta 

Germaniae Historica in Gen. Bibl. iv. 
SHF. Societe d'histoire francaise. 

SRD. Scriptores rerum Danicarum medii aevi. See Gen. Bibl. iv. 

Abh. Abhandlungen. mem. memoir. 

antiq. antiquarian, antiquaire. mem. memoire. 

app. appendix. n.s. new series. 

coll. collection. publ. published, publie. 

diss. dissertation. R.\ rP nlp 

hist. history, historical, historique, r. J 

historisch. roy. royal, royale. 

Jahrb. Jahrbuch. ser. series. 

, f kaiserlich. soc. society, societe, societa. 

\koniglich. Viert. Vierteljahrschrift. 





Chauvin, V. Bibliographic des ouvrages arabes ou relatifs aux Arabes publics dans 

1' Europe chre'tienne de 1810 a 1885. Liege. 1892-1903. 
Encyclopaedia of Islam. See Gen. Bibl. i. 
Friederici, C. Bibliotheca Orientalis. Leipsic. 1877-84. 
Gabrieli, G. Manuale di bibliografia musulmana. Rome. 1916. 
Islam, Der. Zeitschrift fiir Geschichte und Kultur des islamischen Orients. Ed. 

Becker, C. H. Strasbourg, Hamburg. 1910. In progress. 
Klatt, J. Orientalische Bibliographic In Literatur-Blatt fiir orientalische Philo- 

logie. Leipsic. 1884-8. 
Orientalische Bibliographic Ed. Midler, A. (1888-92), Kuhn, E. (1892-5), and 

Schermann, L. (1896-1915). Berlin. 
Wustenfeld, F. Die Geschichtschreiber der Araber und ihre Werke. Abh. d. k. 

Gesell. d. Wiss. zu Gottingen. 1882. 


(a) Musliji. 

(i) Arabic. 

(In chronological order.) 

Ahmad ibn abl Tahir Taifiir. Sechster Band des Kitab Bagdad. Ed. and transl. 

Keller, H. Leipsic. 1908. 
Ibn Qutaibah. Kitab al-Ma'arif. Ed. Wustenfeld, F. Gottingen. 1850. 
Tabari. Annales. Ed. Goeje, M. J. de. 15 vols. Leiden. 1879-1901. 
Dlnawarl. Kitab al-akhbar at-tiwal. Ed. Guirgass, V. Leiden. 1888. 
Mas'udl. Kitab at-tanblh wa'1-ishraf. Ed. Goeje, M. J. de. Leiden. 1894. French 

transl. Carra de Vaux, A. Paris. 1897. 
Muruj adh-Dhahab. Ed. and transl. Barbier de Meynard, C. and Pavet de 

Courteille. 9 vols. Paris. 1861-77. 
Abu'l-Faraj Lsfahanl. Kitab al-Aghanl. Cairo. 1867-8, 1905. 
Muhammad ibn Ishaq an-Nadim. Kitab al-Fihrist. Ed. Fliigel, G., Roediger, J., 

and Muller, A. 2 vols. Leipsic. 1871-2. 
Abu'l-Mutahhar. Hikayah Abi'l-Qasim al-Baghdadi. Ed. Mez, A. Heidelberg. 1902. 
Fragmenta Historicorum Arabicorum. Ed. Goeje, M. J. de. 2 vols. Leiden. 1869, 

Miskawaihi, Abu Shuja c Rudhrawari and Hilal ibn Muhassin. The Eclipse of the 

Abbasid Caliphate. Ed. and transl. Amedroz, H. F. and Margoliouth, D. S. 

7 vols. Oxford. 1920-1. 
Hilal ibn Muhassin. Kitab al-VTuzara. Ed. Amedroz, H. F. Beyrout. 1904. 
Ibn al-Qalanisi. History of Damascus 363-555 a. h. Ed. Amedroz, H. F. Beyrout. 

Anushirwan ibn Khalid. Histoire des Seldjoucides de lTraq par al-Bondari, d'apres 

Imad addin al-Katib al-Isfahani. Ed. Houtsma, M. Th. Leiden. 1889. 

832 Muslim Civilisation during the Abbasid Period 

Yaqut Dictionary of Learned Men. Ed. Margoliouth, D. S. 5 vols. Leiden and 

London. 1907-13. 
Ibn al-Athir. Chronicon. Ed. Tornberg, C. J. 14 vols. Leiden. 1862-76. 
Sibt ibn al-Jauzi. Mir' St az-Zaman. Ed. Jewett, J. Chicago. 1907. 
Ibn Khallikan. Kitab wafayat al-a'yan. 2 vols. Cairo. 1882. Ed. Wiistenfeld, F. 

Gottingen. 1835-48. Eng. transl. Slane, G. de. Biographical Dictionary. 4 vols. 

Paris. 1843-71. 
Ibn at-Tiq^aqa. Al-Fakhrl. Histoire du Khilafat et du Vizirat. Ed. Derenbourg, H. 

Paris. 1895. French transl. Amar, E. Paris. 1910. 
Ibn Khaldun. Kitab al-'ibar. 7 vols. Cairo. 1867. Prolegomenes. Ed. Quatremere, 

E. M. 3 vols. Paris. 1858. In Notices et extraits des manuscrits. xvi, 1 ; 

xvn, 1 ; xvm, 1. French transl. Slane, G. de. 3 vols. Paris. 1862-8. In 

Notices et extraits des manuscrits. xix, 1 ; xx, 1 ; xxi, 1. 
Suyutl. Ta'rlkh al-Khulafa. Cairo. 1888. Transl. Jarrett, H. S. (Bibliotheca 

Indica.) Calcutta. 1880. 
Abu Yusuf Ya'qub ibn Ibrahim. Kitab al-Kharaj. Cairo. 1885. Transl. Fagnan, E. 

Le livre de l'impot foncier. Paris. 1921. 
Yahya ibn Adam. Kitab al-Kharaj. Ed. Juynboll, Th. W. Leiden. 1896. 
Mawardl. Kitab al-ahkam as-sultaniyyah. Cairo. 1881. French transl. Fagnan, E. 

Algiers. 1915. 

(ii) Persian. 
(In chronological order.) 

Baihaql. Ta'rikh-i-al-i-Subuktigin. Ed. Morley, W. H. (Bibliotheca Indica.) Cal- 
cutta. 1862. 
Rawandl. Rahat us-Sudur wa Ayat us-Surur, being a history of the Saljuqs. Ed. 

Muhammad Iqbal. (Gibb Memorial Series.) London. 1921. 
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Juwainl. Ta'rikh-i-Jahan-Gusha. Ed. Mlrza Muhammad. 2 vols. (Gibb Memorial 

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Hamdullah Mustaufl. Ta'rlkh-i-Guzida. Ed. and transl. Browne, E. G. (Gibb 

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Mirkhwand. Raudat us-Safa. Bombay. 1854-5. Lucknow. 1883. Mirchond's 

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(6) Christian. 

(i) Syriac. 

(In chronological order.) 

Thomas of Marga. The Book of Governors: the Historia Monastica. Ed. and transl. 

Budge, E. A. W. London. 1893. 
Dionysius of Tall Mahray. Chronique de Denys de Tell Mahre, quatrieme partie. 

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Barhebraeus. Chronicon Ecclesiasticum. Ed. and transl. Abbeloos, J. B. and 
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(ii) Literature, law, science, commerce, etc. 

Baumstark, A. Geschichte der syrischen Literatur. Bonn. 1922. 

Becker, C. H. Christenthum und Islam. Tubingen. 1907. Transl. Chaytor, H. J. 

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A Literary History of Persia. 2 vols. London. 1902, 1906. 

Cantor, M. Vorlesungen iiber Geschichte der Mathematik. 2nd ed. Vol. i, pp. 649 ff. 

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Carra de Vaux, A. Les grands philosophes. Avicenne. Paris. 1900. 
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Les Penseurs de l'lslam. Paris. 1921. In progress. 

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Duval, R. La litterature syriaque. 3rd ed. Paris. 1907. 
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330 (11 May) Inauguration of Constantinople, 'New Rome/ by Constantine 

the Great. 
428-633 Persian rule in Armenia. 
476 Deposition of Romulus Augustus. 
529 Justinian's Code. 
533 Justinian's Digest and Institutes. 
535 Justinian's Novels. 
537 Inauguration of St Sophia. 
558 The Avars appear in Europe. 
565 Death of Justinian. 
568 The Lombards invade Italy. 
The Avars enter Pannonia. 
c. 582 Creation of the exarchates of Africa and Ravenna. 

626 The Avars besiege Constantinople. 

627 Defeat of the Persians by Heraclius at Nineveh. 
631 'Die Avars defeat the Bulgarians. 

633-693 Byzantine rule in Armenia. 

635 The Bulgarians free themselves from the power of the Chazars. 

c. 650 Creation of the Asiatic themes. 

679 Establishment of the Bulgarians south of the Danube. 

693-862 Arab rule in Armenia. 

713 First Venetian Doge elected. 

717 (25 March) Accession of Leo III the Isaurian. 

717-718 The Arabs besiege Constantinople. 

726 Edict against images. 

727 Insurrections in Greece and Italy. 

732 Victory of Charles Martel at Poitiers (Tours). 

739 Battle of Acro'inon. 

740 Publication of the Ecloga. 

Death of Leo III the Isaurian, and accession of Constantine V Copro- 

741 Insurrection of Artavasdus. 

742 (2 Nov.) Recovery of Constantinople by Constantine V. 
744 Murder of Walld II. The Caliphate falls into anarchy. 
747 Annihilation of the Egyptian fleet. 

750 Foundation of the Abbasid Caliphate. 

751 Taking of Ravenna by the Lombards. 

753 Iconoclastic Council of Hieria. 

754 Donation of Pepin to the Papacy. 

755 The war with the Bulgarians begins. 

756 'Abd-ar : Rahman establishes an independent dynasty in Spain. 

757 Election of Pope Paul IV. Ratification of Papal elections ceases to be 

asked of the Emperor of the East. 

758 Risings of the Slavs of Thrace and Macedonia. 

759 Defeat of the Bulgarians at Marcellae. 
762 Baghdad founded by the Caliph Mansur. 

Defeat of the Bulgarians at Anchialus. 
764-771 Persecution of the image-worshippers. 
772 Defeat of the Bulgarians at Lithosoria. 


900 Chronological Table 

774 Annexation of the Lombard kingdom by Charlemagne. 

775 (14 Sept.) Death of the Emperor Constantine V and accession of Leo IV 

the Chazar. 

780 (8 Sept.) Death of Leo IV and Regency of Irene. 

781 Pope Hadrian I ceases to date official acts by the regnal years of the 


787 Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Condemnation of Iconoclasm. 

788 Establishment of the Idrlsid dynasty in Morocco. 

790 (Dec.) Abdication of Irene. Constantine VI assumes power. 

797 (17 July) Deposition of Constantine VI. Irene becomes Emperor. 

800 Establishment of the Aghlabid dynasty in Tunis. 

(25 Dec.) Charlemagne crowned Emperor of the West. 

802 (31 Oct.) Deposition of Irene and accession of Nicephorus I. 

803 Destruction of the Barmecides. 

809 Death of Harun ar-Itashid and civil war in the Caliphate. 
The Bulgarian Khan Krum invades the Empire. 

Pepin of Italy's attack upon Venice. 

810 Nicephorus I's scheme of financial reorganisation. 
Concentration of the lagoon-townships at Rialto. 

811 The Emperor Nicephorus I is defeated and slain by the Bulgarians : 

accession of Michael I Rangabe. 

812 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle recognises Charlemagne's imperial title. 

813 Michael I defeated at Versinicia : Krum appears before Constantinople. 
Deposition of Michael I and accession of Leo V the Armenian. 

Battle of Mesembria. 
Ma'mun becomes sole Caliph. 

814 (14 April) Death of Krum : peace between the Empire and the Bulgarians. 

815 Iconoclastic synod of Constantinople. 
Banishment of Theodore of Studion. 

820 (25 Dec.) Murder of Leo V, and accession of Michael II the Amorian. 
822 Insurrection of Thomas the Slavonian. 

826 Death of Theodore of Studion. 
Conquest of Crete by the Arabs. 

827 Arab invasion of Sicily. 
829-842 Reign of Theophilus. 

832 Edict of Theophilus against images. 

833 Death of the Caliph Ma'mun. 

836 The Abbasid capital removed from Baghdad to Samarra. 

839 Treaty between the Russians and the Greeks. 

840 Treaty of Pavia between the Emperor Lothar I and Venice. 

842 The Arabs take Messina. 
Disintegration of the Caliphate begins. 

842-867 Reign of Michael III. 

843 Council of Constantinople, and final restoration of image-worship by the 

Empress Theodora. 
846 Ignatius becomes Patriarch. 
852-893 Reign of Boris in Bulgaria. 
856-S66 Rule of Bardas. 

858 Deposition of Ignatius and election of Photius as Patriarch. 
860 The Russians appear before Constantinople. 
860-861 (?) Cyril's mission to the Chazars. 

863 (?) Mission of Cyril and Methodius to the Moravians, 

864 Conversion of Bulgaria to orthodoxy. 
867 The Schism of Photius. 

The Synod of Constantinople completes the rupture with Rome. 

(23 Sept. ) Murder of Michael III and accession of Basil I the Macedonian. 

Deposition of Photius. Restoration of Ignatius. 

867 (13 Nov.) Death of Pope Nicholas I. 
(14 Dec.) Election of Pope Hadrian II. 

868 Independence of Egypt under the Tulunid dynasty. 

Chronological Table 901 

869 (14 Feb.) Death of Cyril. 

Ecumenical Council of Constantinople. End of the Schism. 

870 Methodius becomes the first Moravo-Paunonian archbishop. 

871 War with the Paulicians. 

876 Capture of Bari from the Saracens by the Greeks. 

877 Death of Ignatius and reinstatement of Photius as Patriarch. 
(22 July) Council of Ravenna. 

878 (21 May) Capture of Syracuse by the Arabs. 
878 (?) Promulgation of the Prochiron. 

882 Fresh rupture between the Eastern and Western Churches; excommuni- 
cation of Photius. 

885 (G April) Death of Methodius. 
886-912 Reign of Leo VI the Wise. 

886 Deposition and exile of Photius. 
887-892 Reign of Ashot 1 in Armenia. 
c. 888 Publication of the Basilics. 

891 Death of Photius. 

892 The Abbasid capital restored to Baghdad. 
892-914 Reign of Smbat I in Armenia. 
893-927 Reign of Simeon in Bulgaria. 
895-896 The Magyars migrate into Hungary. 

898 Reconciliation between the Eastern and Western Churches. 

899 The Magyars invade Lombardy. 

900 Victory of Nicephorus Phocas at Adana. 
The Magyars occupy Pannonia. 

902 (1 Aug.) Fall of Taormina, the last Greek stronghold in Sicily. 
904 Thessalonica sacked by the Saracens. 

906 Leo Vl's fourth marriage: contest with the Patriarch. 
The Magyars overthrow the Great Moravian State. 

907 Russian expedition against Constantinople. 
909-1171 The Fatimid Caliphate in Africa. 

912 (11 May) Death of Leo VI and accession of Constantino VII Porphyro- 

genitus under the regency of Alexander. 

913 Simeon of Bulgaria appears before Constantinople. 
915-928 Reign of Ashot II in Armenia. 

917 (20 Aug.) Bulgarian victory at Anchialus. 

919 (25 Mar. ) Usurpation of Romanus Lecapenus. 

920 (June) A Council at Constantinople pronounces upon fourth marriages. 
923 Simeon besieges Constantinople. 

927 (« Sept) Peace with Bulgaria. 

932 Foundation of the Buwaihid dynasty. 

933 Venice establishes her supremacy in Istria. 
941 Russian expedition against Constantinople. 

944 (10 Dec.) Deposition of Romanus Lecapenus. Personal rule of Cou- 

stantine VII begins. 

945 The Buwaihids enter Baghdad and control the Caliphate. 

954 Princess Olga of Russia embraces Christianity. 

955 Battle of the Lechfeld. 

959 (9 Nov.) Death of Constantine VII and accession of Romanus II. 
959-976 Reign of the Doge Peter IV Candianus. 
961 Recovery of Crete by Nicephorus Phocas. 

(Mar.) Advance in Asia by the Greeks. 

Athanasius founds the convent of St Laura on Mt Athos. 

963 (15 Mar.) Death of Romanus II: accession of Basil II: regency of 

(16 Aug.) Usurpation of Nicephorus II Phocas. 

964 Novel against the monks. 

965 Conquest of Cilicia. 

967 Renewal of the Bulgarian war. 

968 The Russians in Bulgaria. 

902 Chronological 1'able 

969 (28 Oct.) Capture of Antioch. 
The Fatimid Caliphs annex Egypt. 

(10 Dec.) Murder of Nicephoius Phocas and accession of John Tzimisces. 

970 Capture of Aleppo. 

Accession of Geza as Prince of the Magyars. 

971 Revolt of Bardas Phocas. 

The Emperor John Tzimisces annexes Eastern Bulgaria. 

972 Death of Svyatoslav of Kiev. 

976 (10 Jan.) Death of John Tzimisces: personal rule of Basil II Bulgar- 
octonus begins. 
Peter Orseolo I elected Doge. 
976-979 Revolt of Bardas Scleras. 
980 Accession of Vladimir in Russia. 
985 Fall of the eunuch Basil. 
986-1018 Great Bulgarian War. 
987-989 Conspiracy of Phocas and Sclerus. 

988 The Fatimid Caliphs occupy Syria. 

989 Baptism of Vladimir of Russia. 
Vladimir captures Cherson. 

991 The Fatimids re-occupv Syria. 
991-1009 Reign of Peter Orseolo II as Doge. 

992 (19 July) First Venetian treaty with the Eastern Empire. 

994 Saif-ad-Daulah takes Aleppo and establishes himself in Northern Syria. 
994-1001 War with the Fatimids. 

995 Basil IPs campaign in Syria. 

996 (Jan.) Novel against the Powerful, 
Defeat of the Bulgarians on the Spercheus. 

997 Accession of St Stephen in Hungary, and conversion of the Magyars. 
998-1030 Reign of Mahmud ofGhaznah. 

1006 Vladfmir of Russia makes a treaty with the Bulgarians. 

1009 The Patriarch Sergius erases the Pope's name from the diptychs. 

1014 Battle of Cimbalongu ; death of the Tsar Samuel. 

1015 Death of Vladimir of Russia. 
1018-1186 Bulgaria a Byzantine province. 
1021-1022 Annexation of Vaspurakan to the Empire. 

1024 The Patriarch Eustathius attempts to obtain from the Pope the autonomy 

of the Greek Church. 

1025 (15 Dec.) Death of Basil II and accession of Constantine VIII. 

1026 Fall of the Orseoli at Venice. 

1028 (11 Nov.) Death of Constantine VIII and succession of Zoe and 
Romanus III Argyrus. 

1030 Defeat of the Greeks near Aleppo. 

1031 Capture of Edessa by George Maniaces. 

1034 (12 April) Murder of Romanus III and accession of Michael IV the 

Government of John the Orphanotrophos. 
1038 Death of St Stephen of Hungary. 

Success of George Maniaces in Sicily. 

The Seljuq Tughril Beg proclaimed. 

1041 (10 Dec.) Death of Michael IV and succession of Michael V Calaphates. 
Banishment of John the Orphanotrophos. 

1042 (21 April) Revolution in Constantinople; fall of Michael V. 
Zoe and Theodora joint Empresses. 

(11-12 June) Zoe's marriage; accession of her husband, Constantine IX 

1043 Michael Cerularius becomes Patriarch. 
Rising of George Maniaces ; his defeat and death at Ostrovo. 

1045 Foundation of the Law School of Constantinople. 

1046 Annexation of Armenia (Ani) to the Empire. 

1047 Revolt of Tornicius. 

Chronological Table 903 

1048 Appearance of the Seljuqs on the eastern frontier of the Empire. 
1050 Death of the Empress Zoe. 

1054 (20 July) The Patriarch Michael Cerularius breaks with Rome; schism 

between the Eastern and Western Churches. 

1055 (11 Jan.) Death of Coustantine IX ; Theodora sole Empress. 
The Seljuq Tughril Beg enters Baghdad. 

1056 (31 Aug.) Death of Theodora and proclamation of Michael VI Stratio- 


1057 Revolt of Isaac Comnenus. Deposition of Michael VI. 

(1 Sept. ?) Isaac I Comnenus crowned Emperor at Constantinople. 

1058 Deposition and death of Michael Cerularius. 

1059 Treaty of Melfi. 
Abdication of Isaac Comnenus. 

1059-1067 Reign of Constantino X Ducas. 

1063 Death of Tughril Beg. 

1063-1072 Reign of the Seljuq Alp Arslan. 

1064 Capture of Ani by the Seljuqs, and conquest of Greater Armenia. 
1066 Foundation of the Nlzamlyah University at Baghdad. 
1067-1071 Reign of Romanus III Diogenes. 

1071 Capture of Bari by the Normans and loss of Italy. 

Battle of Manzikert. 

The Seljuqs occupy Jerusalem. 
1071-1078 Reign of Michael VII Parapinaces Ducas. 
1072-1092 Reign of the Seljuq Malik Shah. 

1077 Accession of Sulaiman \, Sultan of Rum. 

1078 The Turks at Nicaea. 

1078-1081 Reign of Nicephorus III Botaniates. 

1080 Alliance between Robert Guiscard and Pope Gregory VII. 

Foundation of the Armeno-Cilician kingdom. 
1081-1118 Reign of Alexius I Comnenus. 
1081-1084 Robert Guiscard's invasion of Epirus. 
1082 Treaty with Venice. 
1086 Incursions of the Patzinaks begin. 

1091 (29 April) Defeat of the Patzinaks at the river Leburnium. 
1094-1095 Invasion of the Cumans. 

1094 Council of Piacenza. 

1095 (18-28 Nov.) Council of Clermont proclaims the First Crusade. 

1096 The Crusaders at Constantinople. 

1097 The Crusaders capture Nicaea. 

1098 Council of Bari. St Anselm refutes the Greeks, 

1099 Establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

1100 (18 July) Deatli of Godfrey of Bouillon. 
1104 Defeat of the Crusaders at Harran. 

1107 Bohemond's expedition against Constantinople. 

1108 Battle of Durazzo. 
Treaty with Bohemond. 

1116 Battle of Philomelium. 

1118-1143 Reign of John II Comnenus. 

1119 First expedition of John Comnenus to Asia Minor. 

1122 Defeat of the Patzinaks near Eski-Sagra. 

1122-1126 War with Venice. 

1128 The Emperor John Comnenus defeats the Hungarians near Haram. 

1137 (May) Roger II of Sicily's fleet defeated off Trani. 

1137-1138 Campaign of John Comnenus in Cilicia and Syria. 

1143-1180 Reign of Manuel I Comnenus. 

1147-1149 The Second Crusade. 

1147-1149 War with Roger II of Sicily. 

1151 The Byzantines at Ancona. 

1152-1154 Hungarian War. 

1154 Death of Roger II of Sicily. 

904 Chronological Table 

1158 Campaign of Manuel Comnenus in Syria. 

1159 His solemn entry into Antioch ; zenith of his power. 

1163 Expulsion of the Greeks from Cilicia. 

1164 Battle of Harim. 

1168 Annexation of Dalmatia. 

1170 The Emperor Manuel attempts to re-unite the Greek and Armenian 


1171 Rupture of Manuel with Venice. 
1173 Frederick Barbarossa besieges Ancona. 

1176 Battle of Myriocephalum. 
Battle of Legnano. 

1177 Peace of Venice. 

1180-1183 Reign of Alexius II Comnenus. 

1180 Foundation of the Serbian monarchy by Stephen Nemanja. 

1182 Massacre of Latins in Constantinople. 

1183 (Sept.) Andronicus I Comnenus becomes joint Emperor. 
(Nov.) Murder of Alexius II. 

1185 The Normans take Thessalonica. 

Deposition and death of Andronicus; accession of Isaac II Angelus. 
1185-1219 Reign of Leo II the Great of Cilicia. 

1186 Second Bulgarian Empire founded. 

1187 Saladin captures Jerusalem. 

1189 Sack of Thessalonica. 
1189-1192 Third Crusade. 

1190 Death of Frederick Barbarossa in the East. 
Isaac Angelus defeated by the Bulgarians. 

1191 Occupation of Cyprus by Richard Coeur-de-Lion. 

1192 Guv de Lusignan purchases Cyprus from Richard I. 
1193-1205 Reign of the Doge Enrico Dandolo. 

1195 Deposition of Isaac II ; accession of Alexius III Angelus. 
1197-1207 The Bulgarian Tsar Johannitsa (Kalojan). 
1201 (April) Fourth Crusade. The Crusaders' treaty with Venice. 
(May) Boniface of Montferrat elected leader of the Crusade. 

1203 (17 July) The Crusaders enter Constantinople. 

Deposition of Alexius III ; restoration of Isaac II with Alexius IV 
1203-1227 Empire of Jenghiz Khan. 

1204 (8 Feb.) Deposition of Isaac II and Alexius IV; accession of Alexius V 

Ducas (Mourtzouphlos). 
(13 April) Sack of Constantinople. 
(16 May) Coronation of Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and foundation or 

the Latin Empire of Constantinople. 
The compulsory union of the Eastern and Western Churches. 
The Venetians purchase the island of Crete. 
Alexius Comnenus founds the state of Trebizond. 

1205 (14 April) The Bulgarians defeat the Emperor Baldwin I at Hadrianople. 

1206 (21 Aug.) Henry of Flanders crowned Latin Emperor of Constantinople. 
Theodore I Lascaris crowned Emperor of Nicaea. 

1208 Peace with the Bulgarians. 

121C The Turks of Rum defeated on the Maeander by Theodore Lascaris. 

1212 Peace with Nicaea. 

1215 The Fourth Lateran Council. 

1216 Death of the Emperor Henry, and succession of Peter of Courtenay. 

1217 Stephen crowned King of Serbia. 

1218 Death of Geoffrey of Villehardouin, Prince of Achaia. 

1219 Creation of a separate Serbian Church. 

1221-1228 Reign of Robert of Courtenay, Latin Emperor of Constantinople. 
1222 Recovery of Thessalonica by the Greeks of Epirus. 

Death of Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of Nicaea. Accession of John HI 

Chronological Table 905 

1222 First appearance of the Mongols in Europe. 

1224 The Emperor of Nicaea occupies Hadrianople. 

1228 Death of Stephen, the first King of Serbia. 

1228-1237 Reign of John of Brienne, Latin Emperor of Constantinople. 

1230 Destruction of the Greek Empire of Thessalonica by the Bulgarians. 

1234 Fall of the Kin Dynasty in China. 

1235 Revival of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. 

1236 Constantinople attacked by the Greeks and Bulgarians. 

1236 (?) Alliance between the Armenians and the Mongols. 

1237 Invasion of Europe by the Mongols. 

1237-1261 Reign of Baldwin II, last Latin Emperor of Constantinople. 
1241 Battles of Liegnitz and Mohi. 

Death of John Asen II; the decline of Bulgaria begins. 

1244 The Despotat of Thessalonica becomes a vassal of Nicaea. 

1245 Council of Lyons. 

1246 Reconquest of Macedonia from the Bulgarians. 

1254 (30 Oct.) Death of John Vatatzes; Theodore II Lascaris succeeds as 
Emperor of Nicaea. 

Submission of the Despot of Epirus to Nicaea. 

Mamluk Sultans in Egypt. 
1255-1256 Theodore II's Bulgarian campaigns. 
1256 Overthrow of the Assassins by the Mongols. 

1258 Death of Theodore II Lascaris. Accession of John IV Lascaris. 
Destruction of Baghdad by the Mongols and overthrow of the Caliphate. 

1259 (1 Jan.) Michael VIII Palaeologus proclaimed Emperor of Nicaea. 
1259-1294 Reign of Kublai Khan. 

1260 The Egyptians defeat the Mongols at 'A in Jalut. 

1261 (25 July) Capture of Constantinople by the Greeks ; end of the Latin 

1261-1530 Abbasid Caliphate in Cairo. 

1266 (Feb.) Charles of Anjou's victory over Manfred at Benevento. 

1267 (27 May) Treatv of Viterbo. 

1267-1272 Progress of Charles of Anjou in Epirus. 

1270 (25 Aug.) Death of St Louis. 

1274 Ecumenical Council at Lyons ; union of the Churches again achieved. 

1276 Leo III of Cilicia defeats the Mamluks. 

1278 Leo III of Cilicia defeats the Seljuqs of Iconium. 

1281 Joint Mongol and Armenian forces defeated by the Mamluks on the 

(18 Nov.) Excommunication of Michael Palaeologus; breach of the 

Victory of the Berat over the Angevins. 

1282 (30 May) The Sicilian Vespers. 

(11 Dec.) Death of Michael Palaeologus. Accession of Andronicus II. 
c. 1290 Foundation of Wallachia. 
1291 Fall of Acre. 

1299 Osman, Emir of the Ottoman Turks. 
1302 Osman's victory at Baphaeum. 

End of the alliance between the Armenians and the Mongols. 
1302-1311 The Catalan Grand Company in the East. 

1308 Turks enter Europe. 

Capture of Ephesus by the Turks. 

1309 Capture of Rhodes from the Turks by the Knights of St John. 
1311 Battle of the Cephisus. 

1326 Brusa surrenders to the Ottoman Turks. 

(Nov.) Death of Osman. 
1326-1359 Reign of Orkhan. 
1328-1341 Reign of Andronicus III Palaeologus. 

1329 The Ottomans capture Nicaea. 

1330 (28 June) Defeat of the Bulgarians by the Serbians at the battle of 


906 Chronological Table 

1331 (8 Sept. ) Coronation of Stephen Dusan as King of Serbia. 

1336 Birth of Timur. 

1337 The Ottomans capture Nicomedia. 
Conquest of Cilicia by the Mamluks." 

1341 Succession of John V Palaeologus. Rebellion of John Cantacuzene. 
1342-1344 Guy of Lusignan King of Cilicia. 
1342-1349 Revolution of the Zealots at Thessalonica. 
1344-1363 Reign of Constantino IV in Cilicia. 

1345 Stephen Dusan conquers Macedonia. 

1346 Stephen Dusan crowned Emperor of the Serbs and Greeks. 

1347 John VI Cantacuzene takes Constantinople. 

1348 Foundation of the Despotat of Mistra. 

1349 Independence of Moldavia. 

1350 Serbo-Greek treaty. 

1354 The Turks take Gallipoli. 

1355 Abdication of John VI Cantacuzene. Restoration of John V. 
(20 Dec.) Death of Stephen Dusan. 

1356 The Turks begin to settle in Europe. 

1357 The Turks capture Hadrianople. 
1359-1389 Reign of Murad I. 

1360 Formation of the Janissaries from tribute-children. 

1363-1373 Reign of Constantino V in Cilicia. 

1365 The Turks establish their capital at Hadrianople. 

1368 Foundation of the Ming dynasty in China. 

1369 (21 Oct.) John V abjures "the schism. 
1371 (26 Sept.) Battle of the Maritza. 

Death of Stephen Uros" V. 
1373 The Emperor John V becomes the vassal of the Sultan Murad. 
1373-1393 Leo VI of Lusignan, the last King of Armenia. 
1375 Capture and exile of Leo VI of Armenia. 
1376-1379 Rebellion of Andronicus IV. 

Coronation of Tvrtko as King of the Serbs and Bosnia. 
1379 Restoration of John V. 
1382 Death of Louis the Great of Hungary. 
1387 Turkish defeat on the Toplica. 

Surrender of Thessalonica to the Turks. 

1389 (15 June) Battle of Kossovo ; fall of the Serbian Empire. 
1389-1403 Reign of Bayazid. 

1390 Usurpation of John VII Palaeologus. 

1391 Death of John V. Accession of Manuel II Palaeologus. 
(23 Mar.) Death of Tvrtko I. 

Capture of Philadelphia by the Turks. 

1393 Turkish conquest of Thessaly. 

(17 July) Capture of Trnovo ; end of the Bulgarian Empire. 

1394 (10 Oct.) Turkish victory at Roviue in Wallachia. 

1396 (25 Sept.) Battle of Nicopolis. 

1397 Bayazld attacks Constantinople. 

1398 The Turks invade Bosnia. 

Timur invades India and sacks Delhi. 

1401 Timur sacks Baghdad. 

1402 (28 July) Timur defeats the Ottoman Sultan Bayazld at Angora. 
1402-1413 Civil war among the Ottoman Turks. 

1403 (21 Nov.) Second battle of Kossovo. 
1405 Death of Timur. 

1409 Council of Pisa. 

1413-1421 Reign of Mahomet I. 

1413 (10 July) Turkish victory at Chamorlu. 

1416 The Turks declare war on Venice. 

(29 May) Turkish fleet defeated off Gallipoli. 
1418 Death of Mir6ea the Great of Wallachia. 

Chronological Table 907 

1421-1451 Reign of Murad II. 

1422 Siege of Constantinople by the Turks. 

1423 Turkish expedition into the Morea. 
Thessalonica purchased by Venice. 

1423-1448 Reign of John VIII Palaeologus. 
1426 Battle of Choirokoitia. 

1430 Capture of Thessalonica by the Turks. 

1431 Council of Basle opens. 

1432 Death of the last Frankish Prince of Achaia. 

1438 (9 April) Opening of the Council of Ferrara. 

1439 (10 Jan.) The Council of Ferrara removed to Florence. 
(6 July) The Union of Florence. 

Completion of the Turkish conquest of Serbia. 

1440 The Turks besiege Belgrade. 

1441 John Huuyadi appointed vo'ivode of Transylvania. 
1443-1468 Skanderbeg s war of independence against the Turks. 
1444 (July) Peace of Szegedin. 

(10 Nov.) Battle of Varna. 
1446 Turkish invasion of the Morea. 

1448 (17 Oct.) Third battle of Kossovo. Accession of Constantine XI Palaeo- 
1451 Accession of Mahomet II. 
1453 (29 May) Capture of Constantinople by the Turks. 

1456 The Turks again besiege Belgrade. 

1457 Stephen the Great succeeds in Moldavia. 

1458 The Turks capture Athens. 

1459 Final end of medieval Serbia. 
1461 Turkish conquest of Trebizond. 
1462-1479 War between Venice and the Turks. 
1463 Turkish conquest of Bosnia. 

1468 Turkish conquest of Albania. 

1475 Stephen the Great of Moldavia defeats the Turks at Racova. 

1479 Venice cedes Scutari to the Turks. 

1484 The Montenegrin capital transferred to Cetinje. 

1489 Venice acquires Cyprus. 

1499 Renewal of Turco- Venetian War. 

1517 Conquest of Egypt by the Turks. 

1523 Conquest of Rhodes by the Turks. 

1537-1540 Third Turco-Venetian War. 

1571 Conquest of Cyprus from Venice by the Turks.